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Austempering in low-C steels: microstructure development and nanohardness characterization
- Taboada, M. C., Elizalde, M. R., Jorge-Badiola, D.
- Journal of materials science 2019 v.54 no.6 pp. 5044-5060
- ambient temperature, cooling, hardness, industry, mechanical properties, microstructure, silicon
- The development of multiphase steels to obtain an optimum balance between strength and ductility is a very active topic of research. In particular, carbide-free bainitic steels have shown promising mechanical properties, making them good candidates for replacing well-established first-generation steels in the automotive industry. In this work, a detailed analysis of the microstructures attainable through overaging treatments is tackled in two bainitic steels with different Si contents. The focus has been put onto the mechanical characterization, via nanoindentation, of the phases that are generated as a consequence of the change in the bainitic treatment conditions and the final cooling to room temperature. The results show the suitability of the nanoindentation technique for gaining knowledge about the underlying transformation-related phenomena and for measuring the relative difference in hardness of the various micro-constituents. The latter is a key factor in understanding the origin of the damage in this kind of steels.