Phase Field Modeling of Microstructure Banding in Steels
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A phase field model (PFM) is applied to simulate the effects of microsegregation, cooling rate, and austenite grain size on banding in a C-Mn steel. The PFM simulations are compared with experimental observations of continuous cooling transformation tests in the investigated steel. Using electron probe microanalysis, the microsegregation characteristics of Mn were determined and introduced into the model. Ferrite nucleation is assumed to occur at austenite grain boundaries, and ferrite growth is simulated as mixed-mode reaction for para-equilibrium conditions. The driving pressure for the austenite to ferrite transformation depends on Mn concentration and thus varies between the alternating microsegregation layers. In agreement with experimental observations, the simulation results demonstrate that by increasing the cooling rate and/or austenite grain size, banding tends to disappear as the transformation shifts to lower temperatures such that ferrite also forms readily in the layers with higher Mn levels. Further, a parametric study is conducted by changing thickness and Mn content of the bands. In accordance with experimental observations, it is shown that for sufficiently large band thickness, band splitting takes place where ferrite grains form close to the center of the Mn-rich band. Changing the degree of Mn segregation indicates that a segregation level of 0.2 wt pct is necessary in the present case to achieve banded microstructures.
KeywordsFerrite Austenite Pearlite Phase Field Model Critical Cool Rate
The financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is acknowledged with gratitude.
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