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Metals 2016, 6(10), 239; doi:10.3390/met6100239

On the Step Cooling Treatment for the Assessment of Temper Embrittlement Susceptibility of Heavy Forgings in Superclean Steels

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Brescia, Via Branze, 38, Brescia 25123, Italy
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Academic Editor: Hugo F. Lopez
Received: 20 July 2016 / Revised: 14 September 2016 / Accepted: 29 September 2016 / Published: 10 October 2016
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Abstract

When subjected to extended exposure to intermediate service temperatures, Cr–Mo steels, Ni–Cr steels, and 5% Ni steels can become embrittled, with an associated decrease in fracture toughness and a shift in the ductile-to-brittle transition temperature to higher temperatures. Two methods for the investigation of temper embrittlement phenomena are isothermal aging or the use of a step cooling aging treatment, which is less time consuming and is considered to be the most severe test to evaluate steel’s susceptibility to this phenomenon. In the present work, the effectiveness of the step cooling treatment in the assessment of temper embrittlement in a superclean 26NiCrMoV14.5 steel for heavy section forgings has been studied. Some isothermal aging treatments in the critical temperature range have also been carried out. Results of a Charpy V impact test on not-aged and aged specimens, and observation of the fracture surfaces led to the following conclusions: the steel does not undergo temper embrittlement upon step cooling treatment or after aging at different temperatures and times in the critical temperature range; the most negative effect on the shift of the ductile-to-brittle transition curve—compared with not aged steel—has been observed after aging at 593 °C for 2 h (ΔT54J = 9 °C); further aging up to 8 h produced a ΔT54J of only 1 °C. Neither step cooling nor aging at various critical temperatures gave rise to an intergranular brittle fracture; the amount of embrittling impurity elements in a superclean steel does not seem to be enough to cause embrittlement and a pure intergranular decohesion. View Full-Text
Keywords: temper embrittlement; step cooling; superclean steels; heavy forgings; Charpy impact tests; fracture mechanisms temper embrittlement; step cooling; superclean steels; heavy forgings; Charpy impact tests; fracture mechanisms
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Roberti, R.; Faccoli, M. On the Step Cooling Treatment for the Assessment of Temper Embrittlement Susceptibility of Heavy Forgings in Superclean Steels. Metals 2016, 6, 239.

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