Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 1840–1853 | Cite as

Correlation between reversed austenite and mechanical properties in a low Ni steel treated by ultra-fast cooling, intercritical quenching and tempering

  • Qi-Yuan Chen
  • Jia-Kuan Ren
  • Zhang-Long Xie
  • Wei-Na Zhang
  • Jun Chen
  • Zhen-Yu LiuEmail author
Metals & corrosion


In this study, the correlation between reversed austenite formed at different tempering temperatures and mechanical properties in a low Ni steel treated by ultra-fast cooling, intercritical quenching and tempering was investigated in detail. It was found that reversed austenite was formed at fresh martensite and retained austenite during tempering. As tempering temperature increased, volume fraction and size of reversed austenite increased, alloy concentration in reversed austenite decreased, and reversed austenite stability was thus deteriorated. When tempering temperature is not higher than 590 °C, reversed austenite that remains completely stable at − 196 °C greatly improves cryogenic toughness. When tempering temperature reaches 610 °C and above, partial reversed austenite transforms into hard secondary fresh martensite at − 196 °C or even room temperature, which is harmful to cryogenic toughness. By tempering at 590 °C, an optimum combination of mechanical properties was achieved, which is comparable to that of 9% Ni steels.



This work was financially supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFB0305000), the Fundamental Research Funds for Central Universities (Grant No. N170708018) and the State Natural Sciences Foundation of China (Grant No. U1660117).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Rolling and AutomationNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.Nanjing Iron and Steel Co., Ltd.NanjingChina

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