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The effect of prior ferrite formation on bainite and martensite transformation kinetics in advanced high-strength steels

Abstract : Most advanced high-strength steel products contain complex phases, including ferrite, bainite and martensite, which form successively during elaboration. It is essential to understand the effect of prior ferrite transformation on the subsequent bainite and martensite transformation kinetics to achieve precise control of the final microstructure. Nevertheless, the effect of the interface between the prior formed ferrite and the residual austenite (α/γ), together with the related chemical heterogeneity at the interface, on the subsequent phase transformations has been studied only rarely, and remains unclear. This study pays particular attention to the effect of the α/γ interface and its related concentration gradients on bainite and martensite transformation. It is shown that the interface and its related concentration gradients can play a very significant role on the subsequent bainite or martensite transformation kinetics: it retards bainite transformation whereas it accelerates martensite transformation. It is revealed from microprobe wavelength-dispersive spectrometry analysis and model calculations that there are both manganese and carbon gradients in front of the α/γ interface at the end of the ferrite transformation holding. The subsequent bainite transformation kinetics is controlled by the competition between the acceleration effect of the interface boundary itself and the retardation effect of the higher alloying concentration near the interface. Martensite transformation should initiate at the pre-existing dislocations in the center of the residual austenite grains, where the C and Mn contents are the lowest. A simple martensite transformation kinetics model taking into account C heterogeneity is proposed that can describe well the martensite transformation kinetics following the prior ferrite transformation.
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Submitted on : Friday, August 30, 2013 - 3:25:43 PM
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Kangying Zhu, Hao Chen, Jean-Philippe Masse, Olivier Bouaziz, Gabriel Gachet. The effect of prior ferrite formation on bainite and martensite transformation kinetics in advanced high-strength steels. Acta Materialia, Elsevier, 2013, 61, pp.6025-6036. ⟨10.1016/j.actamat.2013.06.043⟩. ⟨hal-00856157⟩



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