Influence of carbon-partitioning treatment on the microstructure, mechanical properties and wear resistance of in situ VCp-reinforced Fe-matrix composite

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The wear resistance of iron (Fe)-matrix materials could be improved through the in situ formation of vanadium carbide particles (VCp) with high hardness. However, brittleness and low impact toughness limit their application in several industries due to addition of higher carbon content. Carbon-partitioning treatment plays an important role in tuning the microstructure and mechanical properties of in situ VCp-reinforced Fe-matrix composite. In this study, the influences of carbon-partitioning temperatures and times on the microstructure, mechanical properties, and wear resistance of in situ VCp-reinforced Fe-matrix composite were investigated. The experimental results indicated that a certain amount of retained austenite could be stabilized at room temperature through the carbon-partitioning treatment. Microhardness of in situ VCp-reinforced Fematrix composite under carbon-partitioning treatment could be decreased, but impact toughness was improved accordingly when wear resistance was enhanced. In addition, the enhancement of wear resistance could be attributed to transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP) effect, and phase transformation was caused from γ-Fe (face-centered cubic structure, fcc) to α-Fe (body-centered cubic structure, bcc) under a certain load.

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This work was financially supported by the China Postdoctoral Foundation (No. 2019M650339), Guangdong Basic and Applied Basic Research Foundation (No. 2019A1515011858), Hunan Provincial Natural Science Foundation, China (No. 2019JJ50807), the State Key Laboratory of High Performance Complex Manufacturing, China (No. ZZYJKT2017-01), the DGUT Innovation Center of Robotics and Intelligent Equipment of China (No. KCYCXPT2017006), and the Key Laboratory of Robotics and Intelligent Equipment of Guangdong Regular Institutions of Higher Education, China (No. 2017KSYS009).

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Correspondence to Rui-qing Li or Song-sheng Zeng.

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Chen, P., Zhang, Y., Li, R. et al. Influence of carbon-partitioning treatment on the microstructure, mechanical properties and wear resistance of in situ VCp-reinforced Fe-matrix composite. Int J Miner Metall Mater 27, 100–111 (2020).

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  • carbon-partitioning treatment
  • retained austenite
  • phase transformation
  • mechanical properties
  • wear resistance