Application of Quenching and Partitioning to Improve Ductility of Ultrahigh Strength Low Alloy Steel
In this study Quenching and Partitioning (Q&P) as proposed by Speer was applied to improve the ductility of C-Mn high strength Low Alloy steel (HSLAs). Microstructural observations revealed a multiphase microstructure including first martensite, fresh martensite and retained austenite in the Q&P processed steel. During tensile process, the austenite volume fraction gradually decreased with strain increasing, suggesting the phase transformation induced plasticity for the Q&P processed steel. Ultrahigh strength about 1300-1800MPa and tensile elongation about 20% were obtained after Q&P processing at specific conditions, which is significant higher than that of ~10% of conventional martensitic steel. The the product of tensile strength to total elongation increased from 25 to 35GPa% with increasing carbon content in studied steel. This improved mechanical properties were related to the ductility contribution from TRIP effects of the retained austenite and strength contribution from the hard martensitic matrix. At last it was turned out that the Q&P process is a promising way to produce ultrahigh strength steel with relative high ductility under tailored heat treatment conditions for different micro-alloyed carbon steel.
Jian-Feng Nie and Allan Morton
W. Q. Cao et al., "Application of Quenching and Partitioning to Improve Ductility of Ultrahigh Strength Low Alloy Steel", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 654-656, pp. 29-32, 2010