Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Cooled and Tempered Cu and Nb-Bearing Ultra-Low Carbon Steels
To improve the toughness and weldability, the carbon content of the steels has to be deduced, and more and more attention has been attracted to the low carbon and ultra-low carbon steels. To strengthen the microstructure Cu and Nb-bearing steels are developed. However, the knowledge on influence of combined addition of Cu and Nb is still in lack. The microstructure and mechanical properties are studied in the 6-mm thick as-rolled and tempered ultra-low carbon steel plates with varied copper and niobium content. The microstructure and mechanical properties are studied in the 6-mm thick as-rolled and tempered ultra-low carbon steel plates with varied copper and niobium content. The experimental results show that if niobium is added without copper, the increase of niobium addition does not have a significant influence on the phase transformation and mechanical properties before tempering. The strength and toughness of those copper-free niobium steels do not vary significantly after tempered at different temperatures, while the strength of niobium steels with 1.8% copper added increases after tempered in the range of 450-650°C and reaches a peak at 500-550°C. If combined with 1.8% copper, the increase of niobium addition from 0.08% to 0.16% improves the hardenabililty and strength significantly, and the strength peak after tempering moves to a lower temperature. The strength of air-cooled niobium steels with 1.8% copper added is usually higher than those water-cooled, while after tempered at a proper temperature, the strength of the latter becomes higher than the former.
T. Chandra, N. Wanderka, W. Reimers , M. Ionescu
H. Guo et al., "Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Cooled and Tempered Cu and Nb-Bearing Ultra-Low Carbon Steels", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 638-642, pp. 3242-3247, 2010