, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 1019-1026

The production of ultrafine ferrite in low-carbon steel by strain-induced transformation

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An investigation into the production of ultrafine (1 µm) equiaxed ferrite (UFF) grains in low-carbon steel was made using laboratory rolling, compression dilatometry, and hot torsion techniques. It was found that the hot rolling of thin strip, with a combination of high shear strain and high undercooling, provided the conditions most suitable for the formation of this type of microstructure. Although high strains could be applied in compression and torsion experiments, large volume fractions of UFF were not observed in those samples, possibly due to the lower level of undercooling achieved. It is thought that ferrite refinement was due to a strain-induced transformation process, and that ferrite grains nucleated on parallel and linear deformation bands that traversed austenite grains. These bands formed during the deformation process, and the undercooling provided by the contact between the strip and the work rolls was sufficient to drive the transformation to homogeneous UFF grains.