The Structure and Properties of Carburized and Hardened Vanadium Microalloyed Steels
Three 0.15% carbon steel samples containing small additions of vanadium and nitrogen singly or in combination have been carburized in a natural Titas gas atmosphere at a temperature of 9500C and a pressure of about 15 psia for time periods ranging from 1 to 5 hours and quenched in 10% brine from the carburizing temperature of 9500C after pre-cooling to 8600C in the furnace followed by tempering at a low temperature of 1600C. The structure and properties of the carburized and heat treated specimens were studied systematically by optical microscopy, surface hardness and microhardness measurements, X-ray diffractometry and impact tests. It was found that vanadium without nitrogen does not have any effect in the formation of retained austenite while vanadium with nitrogen is effective in promoting the formation of retained austenite in the case of carburized and hardened steels. It was also found that vanadium alone and vanadium with nitrogen refine the martensite platelets (needles) in the case of carburized and hardened steels, vanadium with nitrogen being more effective. Microhardness measurements have shown that vanadium improves the case hardness and the core hardness values; vanadium with nitrogen is more effective than vanadium alone in increasing the case hardness and the core hardness. The hardenability is found to increase with the increase of austenite grain size and with the extent of carbon penetration of the case of carburized steels. Vanadium as vanadium carbide, VC are detrimental to toughness and vanadium as vanadium carbonitride, V(C, N) are beneficial to toughness of the core of low carbon steels in carburized and hardened condition.
M. S. J. Hashmi, B. S. Yilbas and S. Naher
M. Mohar Ali Bepari et al., "The Structure and Properties of Carburized and Hardened Vanadium Microalloyed Steels", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 83-86, pp. 1270-1281, 2010