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Metals 2017, 7(8), 310; doi:10.3390/met7080310

Microstructure and Strengthening-Toughening Mechanism of Nitrogen-Alloyed 4Cr5Mo2V Hot-Working Die Steel

1
School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Science & Technology, Beijing 100083, China
2
Engineering Research Institute, University of Science & Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 14 August 2017
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Abstract

The microstructure and strengthening-toughening mechanism of a modified 4Cr5Mo2V hot-working die steel with nitrogen (0.08% N) were investigated using hardness and toughness measurements, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction experiments, transmission electron microscopy, and dilatometry. The results showed that the nitrogen addition could increase the hardness and temperability of 4Cr5Mo2V steel without toughness loss with a suitable heat treatment procedure. The fair match of high strength and toughness of the nitrogen-alloyed 4Cr5Mo2V steel is associated with the refinement of the prior austenite grain, the solution hardening of nitrogen atoms, and the increase of retained austenite. Before quenching, nitrogen tends to precipitate in the form of a large amount of undissolved finer V(C, N), imposing a stronger effect on restricting the growth of prior austenitic grains and increasing the grain refining efficiency of VC by 6.8 times according to an estimate. During the quenching process, the nitrogen decreases the MS of the martensitic transformation, increasing retained austenite, which is a benefit for toughness. During the tempering process, some of the N atoms in M(C, N) were dissolved in the matrix, causing crystal lattice distortions, thus boosting the solution reinforcing effect. Meanwhile, the solid-dissolved nitrogen inhibits the diffusion of carbon, decreasing the growth rate of the carbides and increasing tempering resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: strengthening-toughening; nitrogen-alloyed; hot-working die steel; precipitates strengthening-toughening; nitrogen-alloyed; hot-working die steel; precipitates
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gu, J.; Li, J.; Chen, Y. Microstructure and Strengthening-Toughening Mechanism of Nitrogen-Alloyed 4Cr5Mo2V Hot-Working Die Steel. Metals 2017, 7, 310.

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