Characterization by Electron Diffraction of Two Thermodynamical Phases of Precipitation in Nb-Microalloyed Steels
Excellent mechanical properties (high strength and toughness) of microalloyed steels are mainly caused by induced precipitation during thermomechanical treatment (TMT) and grain refinement. It has been recently found that TMT of Nb-microalloyed steels can give rise to two different kinds of precipitates, manifested by the double plateau in the statically recrystallised fraction (Xa) against time curves. This work presents an electron diffraction study performed in a transmission electron microscope, equipped with an EDS analytical system. Lattice parameters of a great deal of particles, smaller than 200 nm and with face cubic centred structure, have been measured. Frequency distribution of the values of lattice parameters shows that these are grouped in two sets whose mean values are close. Comparison of these values with those found in the literature for carbides, nitrides and carbonitrides usually present in microalloyed steels demonstrates that they are Nb carbonitrides with slight stoichiometric differences (NbCxNy).
M. Gómez et al., "Characterization by Electron Diffraction of Two Thermodynamical Phases of Precipitation in Nb-Microalloyed Steels", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 480-481, pp. 489-494, 2005