Refinement of Cementite in High Strength Steel Plates by Rapid Heating and Tempering
The precipitation behavior of cementite in low carbon steels at various heating rates from 0.3 to 100 K/s has been studied using a high-frequency induction heating apparatus. The materials used in this study were steel platesfor welded structures: 610 and 780 MPa class steel plates with a mixed microstructure of bainite and martensite.Cementite was observed using a carbon extraction replica method and the hardness and toughness were also examined. When heated at the conventional slow rate of 0.3 K/s, relatively large cementite particles with an average diameter of 72 nm precipitated at the lath boundaries, whereas when heated at a rapid rate over 3.0 K/s, cementite precipitated both within the laths and at the lath boundaries, and the cementite was refined down to an average diameter of 54 nm. With such refinement of the cementite, the toughness was improved. On the other hand, the hardness was irrespective of the heating rate and was dependent on the tempering parameter. TEM observations of the cementite precipitation behavior during the rapid heating process revealed that cementite begins to precipitate at the lath boundaries at about 773 K and within the laths at about 873 K. It is concluded that rapid heating especially from 773 to 873 K contributes to the cementite refinement and consequently the improvement in toughness. The effect of alloying elements such as chromium, molybdenum or silicon on the cementite growth during the rapid heating and tempering treatment is also discussed.
T. Chandra, K. Tsuzaki, M. Militzer , C. Ravindran
A. Nagao et al., "Refinement of Cementite in High Strength Steel Plates by Rapid Heating and Tempering", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 539-543, pp. 4720-4725, 2007