Processing of Ultrafine-Grained Steels by Warm Rolling and Annealing
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Low-carbon microalloyed steel was subjected to warm rolling followed by rapid transformation annealing (RTA) at 800-850 °C and subcritical annealing (SCA) at 600 °C to develop ultrafine ferrite grain structures (UFFG) with grain size less than 3 μm. The present study investigated the influence of light (40%) and heavy (80%) warm rolling deformation (LWR and HWR) applied during the finishing pass of two-pass rolling schedules on the microstructural evolution after rolling and subsequent annealing treatments. RTA treatment of HWR sample at a lower intercritical temperature for an optimum duration (800 °C, 30 s) developed UFFG-martensite dual-phase structure that offered the best combination of strength (YS ~ 900 MPa and UTS ~ 1200 MPa) and ductility (25% elongation). The SCA treatment provided sufficient time to achieve a uniform distribution of carbide particles throughout the ferrite matrix. SCA treatment of HWR at 600 °C for 4 h developed UFFG-carbide structure achieving YS of 800 MPa with 20% ductility. The SCA of LWR resulted in coarser ferrite grain structures (grain size > 5 μm) having higher ductility (more than 30%) but lower strength (UTS of 400-550 MPa) as compared to RTA.
Keywordsductility rapid transformation annealing strength subcritical annealing ultrafine ferrite grain size warm rolling deformation
The authors acknowledge The Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, for providing the research facilities. Special mention to the facilities developed under Institute SGDRI-2015 Grant.
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