Metallurgical Transactions A

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 1025–1031 | Cite as

Crystallographic study of the tempering of martensitic carbon steel by electron microscopy and diffraction

  • S. Nagakura
  • Y. Hirotsu
  • M. Kusunoki
  • T. Suzuki
  • Y. Nakamura
Symposium on Tempering of Steel


Structural changes taking place during the tempering proceed in four stages. At the preliminary stage taking place below 370 K, interstitial carbon atom clusters are formed below 270 K, rearrange to make a modulated structure between 270 and 360 K, and disappear at about 370 K. A long period ordered phase with respect to the interstitial carbon atoMs or interstitial vacancies also appears between 330 and 350 K. With the disappearance of these structures, the first stage takes place between 370 and 470 K, where η-Fe2C is formed in the matrix of low carbon martensite. The second stage o°Curs around 550 K with the retained austenite decomposing to θ-Fe3C and α iron. At the su°Cession of the first stage, the third stage appears in a temperature range from 470 to 900 K, where θ-Fe3C,X-Fe5C2 and also higher carbides θn-Fe2n+1Cn intergrow microsyntactically in the particles precipitated below 720 K, but only θ-Fe3C is formed above this temperature.


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Copyright information

© The Metallurgical of Society of AIME 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Nagakura
    • 1
  • Y. Hirotsu
    • 4
  • M. Kusunoki
    • 2
  • T. Suzuki
    • 3
  • Y. Nakamura
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MetallurgyTokyo Institute of TechnologyTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Tokyo Institute of TechnologyTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Wakayama-WorksSumitomo Metal Industries Company Ltd.Wakayama-shiJapan
  4. 4.Nagaoka Technological UniversityNagaoka-shiJapan

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