Aging of a copper bearing HSLA-100 steel
Investigations were carried out on aging of a HSLA-100 steel after varying amounts of cold deformation. Mechanical properties (hardness, tensile properties and toughness) were measured and structural changes were studied using optical, TEM and SEM techniques. As a result of various treatments, the hardness and UTS could be significantly improved, but with drastic fall in ductility and impact strength, especially in peak aged conditions. The parameters affecting impact strength were examined and it was concluded that various microstructural features affected toughness through their influence on tensile properties. In this steel the impact strength could be improved by lowering the UTS and increasing the ductility (pct elongation). The improvement in hardness and UTS was attributed to formation of thick precipitate-dislocation tangles. The aging process caused a slow transformation of lath martensite into acicular ferrite due to occurrence of in situ recrystallization. The concentration of Cu in particles precipitating on aging was followed using EDAX technique.
KeywordsHSLA steel thermomechanical aging Cu-bearing steel
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