Design of Structure, Composition and Heat Treatment Process for High Strength Steel
For steel with combination of high strength (~2000MPa) and toughness, along with low cost, the designed structure should be low-temperature tempered, fine lath martensite with high density of dislocation, coated by film of austenite with considerable thickness and distributed with fine ε (η) or (and) complex carbide. Correspondently, the steel should contain less than 0.5 (wt%) of carbon, certain amount of alloying elements for lowering Ms, such as Ni, Mo and (or) Mn, carbide forming element, e.g. Nb, as well as Si or (and) Al, the element depressing the formation of cementite, the brittle phase in high strength steel. The heat treatment process is suggested as: austenitizing at a temperature slightly above Ac3, followed by quenching at Ms-Mf, partitioning either at quenching temperature or at slightly above Ms for a few minutes, cooling down to room temperature and tempering at low temperature about half an hour.
Young Won Chang, Nack J. Kim and Chong Soo Lee
T.Y. Hsu and Z. Y. Xu, "Design of Structure, Composition and Heat Treatment Process for High Strength Steel", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 561-565, pp. 2283-2286, 2007