The Effect of Simulated Thermomechanical Processing on the Transformation Behavior and Microstructure of a Low-Carbon Mo-Nb Linepipe Steel
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The present work investigates the transformation behavior of a low-carbon Mo-Nb linepipe steel and the corresponding transformation product microstructures using deformation dilatometry. The continuous cooling transformation (CCT) diagrams have been constructed for both the fully recrystallized austenite and that deformed in uniaxial compression at 1148 K (875 °C) to a strain of 0.5 for cooling rates ranging from 0.1 to about 100 K/s. The obtained microstructures have been studied in detail using electron backscattered diffraction complemented by transmission electron microscopy. Heavy deformation of the parent austenite has caused a significant expansion of the polygonal ferrite transformation field in the CCT diagram, as well as a shift in the non-equilibrium ferrite transformation fields toward higher cooling rates. Furthermore, the austenite deformation has resulted in a pronounced refinement in both the effective grain (sheaf/packet) size and substructure unit size of the non-equilibrium ferrite microstructures. The optimum microstructure expected to display an excellent balance between strength and toughness is a mix of quasi-polygonal ferrite and granular bainite (often termed “acicular ferrite”) produced from the heavily deformed austenite within a processing window covering the cooling rates from about 10 to about 100 K/s.
Financial support provided by the Australian Research Council is gratefully acknowledged.
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