Formation of the Modulated Structure in a Steel by the Addition of a Strong Carbide Forming Element
The modulated structure characterized by periodic concentration fluctuations is caused by the up-hill diffusion of solute atoms due to the spinodal decomposition, when the Gibbs free energy surface of the solid solution has a convex curve. This convex shape in the free energy surface will appear in multi-component systems, even though the energy in each binary system does not show the convex curve, when a binary system exhibits a strong attractive interaction, i.e., the Gibbs free energy shows a deep concave curve. This may be the case that steel containing an element having a strong tendency of carbide forming. The Fe-Ni-V-C system was selected in this study. V is a strong carbide forming element and forms VC carbide based on f.c.c. lattice. A series of experiments was carried out using Fe-25Ni-3V-3C (mol%) alloy after aging at elevated temperatures. A modulated structure was observed in specimens aged at temperature range of 550 °C to 650 °C, and the maximum temperature occurring the spinodal decomposition was estimated to be 715 °C in Fe-25Ni-3V-3C alloy. Furthermore, the coefficient of the gradient energy caused by composition fluctuations was estimated to be 2.8 x 10-15 J.m2/mol.
Andreas Öchsner, Graeme E. Murch, Ali Shokuhfar and João M.P.Q. Delgado
Y. Murata et al., "Formation of the Modulated Structure in a Steel by the Addition of a Strong Carbide Forming Element ", Defect and Diffusion Forum, Vols. 297-301, pp. 472-476, 2010