, Volume 41, Issue 15, pp 4965-4969
Date: 13 May 2006

Dilatometric measurement of carbon enrichment in austenite during bainite transformation

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The bainite transformation in steels can provide improved mechanical properties over tempered martensite microstructures [1]. For some components such as gears, a bainitic surface structure with a tempered martensite core provides optimum properties. In order to obtain such a distribution of microstructures, it is necessary for the component to be case carburized. This provides the opportunity to austemper at a temperature, which is above the MS of the surface region to allow transformation to bainite but below the MS of the core so that a tempered martensite structure is produced. Since case carburization leads to a carbon concentration gradient decreasing away from the surface the bainite transformation kinetics vary with distance. In order to optimize the processing, it is necessary to understand how carbon content affects the bainite transformation kinetics. Bainite transformation kinetics can be determined by dilatometry. Although dilatometry has been used to measure M