, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 609-622

Optimization of process parameters for the manufacturing of rocket casings: A study using processing maps

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Abstract

Maraging steels possess ultrahigh strength combined with ductility and toughness and could be easily fabricated and heat-treated. Bulk metalworking of maraging steels is an important step in the component manufacture. To optimize the hot-working parameters (temperature and strain rate) for the ring rolling process of maraging steel used for the manufacture of rocket casings, a systematic study was conducted to characterize the hot working behavior by developing processing maps for γ-iron and an indigenous 250 grade maraging steel. The hot deformation behavior of binary alloys of iron with Ni, Co, and Mo, which are major constituents of maraging steel, is also studied. Results from the investigation suggest that all the materials tested exhibit a domain of dynamic recrystallization (DRX). From the instability maps, it was revealed that strain rates above 10 s−1 are not suitable for hot working of these materials. An important result from the stress-strain behavior is that while Co strengthens γ-iron, Ni and Mo cause flow softening. Temperatures around 1125 °C and strain rate range between 0.001 and 0.1 s−1 are suitable for the hot working of maraging steel in the DRX domain. Also, higher strain rates may be used in the meta-dynamic recrystallization domain above 1075 °C for high strain rate applications such as ring rolling. The microstructural mechanisms identified from the processing maps along with grain size analyses and hot ductility measurements could be used to design hot-working schedules for maraging steel.