Parameters Influencing the Bake Hardenability of Microalloyed ULC Steels
Ti-V and Ti-Nb bake hardenable Ultra Low Carbon (ULC) steels are used to produce hot dip zinc coated steels for automotive applications. An important factor influencing the bake hardenability in such microalloyed ULC steels is the level of solute carbon available to diffuse for pinning dislocations during baking. The level of solute carbon must be controlled carefully during annealing of the steel in the ferritic region. Therefore, this paper summarizes highlights of research conducted to study the effects of chemical composition and annealing temperature (in the ferrite region) on the precipitation (or dissolution) of NbC and VC using a variety of Ti-Nb and Ti-V ULC steels. Carbon diffusivity is another factor that could also influence the bake hardenability through controlling the aging and baking kinetics. Therefore, the paper presents highlights of internal friction measurements performed to assess effects of microalloying elements (Nb,V) and some commonly used solid solution strengthening elements (Mn, P) on carbon diffusivity measured using the internal friction technique.
J.M. Rodriguez-Ibabe, I. Gutiérrez, B. López and A. Iza-Mendia
W.A. Al Shalfan et al., "Parameters Influencing the Bake Hardenability of Microalloyed ULC Steels", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 500-501, pp. 779-786, 2005