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Transmission electron microscopy studies of thermomechanically control processed multiphase medium-carbon microalloyed steel: Forged, rolled, and low-cycle fatigued microstructures
, Gouthama, Sangal S., Padmanabhan K.A.
Published in
Volume: 37
Issue: 11
Pages: 3259 - 3273
A ferrite-bainite-martensite (F-B-M) microstructure was produced in a medium-carbon microalloyed (MA) steel through two routes, namely, low-temperature finish forging and rolling, followed by a two-step cooling (TSC) and annealing. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was employed to study the microstructural evolution in control forged and rolled material after TSC followed by annealing (TSCA). A TEM investigation was also carried out on samples low-cycle fatigue (LCF) tested at low and high total strain amplitudes of 0.4 and 0.7 pct in case of the forged steel (F-B-M (F)TSCA) and 0.55 and 0.8 pct for the rolled steel (F-B-M(R)TSCA), respectively. Microstructural changes accompanying the LCF testing were identified. The two-step cooled microstructure processed through forging (F-B-M(F)TSC) as well as rolling (F-B-M(R)TSC) revealed a complex multiphase microstructure, along with films and blocks of retained austenite. In both microstructural conditions, vanadium carbide precipitates were too fine to be identified after the TSC treatment. Annealing after TSC produced a stress-free microstructure. The F-B-M(F)TSCA microstructure predominantly consisted of granular/lower bainite, lath martensite, and polygonal ferrite with interlath films as well as blocks of retained austenite, while the F-B-M(R)TSCA microstructure predominantly consisted of lath martensite, granular/lower bainite, and polygonal ferrite with interlath strips/films of retained austenite. Lath martensite content was higher in the F-B-M(R)TSCA condition than in the F-B-M(F)TSCA condition. In both conditions, vanadium carbide precipitates could be seen after annealing. Fatigue-tested F-B-M(F)TSCA microstructure up to a total strain amplitude of 0.4 pct and F-B-M(R)TSCA microstructure up to a total strain amplitude of 0.55 pct were stable. Lath martensite did not undergo deformation and in both microstructural conditions dislocation cell structures were not observed in the ferrite or bainite regions. The interlath retained austenite strips/films played a significant role in preventing the softening during fatigue loading. First, it was stable up to a total strain amplitude of 0.4 and 0.55 pct in the respective microstructures. Second, it underwent heavy deformation during fatigue loading at high total strain amplitudes, thereby accommodating the strain. Fatigue-tested F-B-M(F)TSCA microstructure at a total strain amplitude of 0.7 pct and F-B-M(R) TSCA microstructure at a total strain amplitude of 0.8 pct revealed deformed bainite/martensite laths, dislocation cells, and slip bands in the ferrite regions, which are characteristic features of cyclic softening, The retained austenite transformed to martensite through a strain-induced transformation mechanism and, at that stage, the microstructure contained in addition dislocation-rich bainite and ferrite.
About the journal
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Open AccessNo