Microstructure and Phase Identification of Tertiary Oxide Scale on Steel by EBSD
Oxide scales growing during hot rolling of steel represent an industrial and environmental problem. Tertiary oxide, which starts to form before entering the finishing stands, remains on the steel surface until the end of the process, affecting the final surface quality and the response to downstream processing. Characterizing scale layers and the scale/steel interface in terms of phase morphology, texture, grain structure and chemical composition is fundamental for a better understanding of their behaviour and the effect of thermomechanical cycles on the material response to further processing. Thin tertiary scale layers have been grown on ULC steel under controlled conditions in a laboratory device adequately positioned in a compression-testing machine, immediately before plane strain deformation. After heating under a protective atmosphere (nitrogen), the samples have been oxidized in air at 1050°C for a short oxidation time. Immediately after this controlled oxidation, some of the samples were subjected to plane strain compression (PSC) inside the experimental device, in order to simulate the finishing hot rolling process. Direct observations of oxide scale layers are impossible. The EBSD technique has been identified as a powerful tool that can be used to reveal the microstructure within the oxide scale and to distinguish between its constitutive phases, based on their distinct crystal lattices. The texture of the deformed oxide scales, originally grown on ULC steel, was determined in a SEM using the EBSD technique. This will help to achieve a better understanding of their complex deformation behaviour. Because the substrate deformation affects the oxide layer, orientation relationships between scale layer and substrate were measured and the crystallographic orientation between undeformed and deformed areas was determined. Strongly textured wustite grains with a clearly pronounced columnar structure were observed after oxidation at 1050°C. The detailed EBSD study reveals that the oxide layer is able to accommodate a significant amount of deformation.
Andreas Öchsner, Graeme E. Murch and Ali Shokuhfar
L. Suarez et al., "Microstructure and Phase Identification of Tertiary Oxide Scale on Steel by EBSD", Defect and Diffusion Forum, Vols. 283-286, pp. 419-424, 2009