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Open AccessArticle

In Situ Investigation of the Iron Carbide Precipitation Process in a Fe-C-Mn-Si Q&P Steel

Institut Jean Lamour, UMR CNRS-Université de Lorraine 7198, 54000 Nancy, France
Institut de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Bordeaux, UPR CNRS 9048, 33608 Pessac, France
Normandie Université, UNIROUEN, INSA Rouen, CNRS, Groupe de Physique des Matériaux, 76000 Rouen, France
Maizières Automotive Products, Arcelormittal Maizières Research SA, 57283 Maizières les Metz, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(7), 1087;
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 17 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 26 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design of Alloy Metals for Low-Mass Structures)
Quenching and Partitioning (Q&P) steels are promising candidates for automotive applications because of their lightweight potential. Their properties depend on carbon enrichment in austenite which, in turn, is strongly influenced by carbide precipitation in martensite during quenching and partitioning treatment. In this paper, by coupling in situ High Energy X-Ray Diffraction (HEXRD) experiments and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), we give some clarification regarding the precipitation process of iron carbides in martensite throughout the Q&P process. For the first time, precipitation kinetics was followed in real time. It was shown that precipitation starts during the reheating sequence for the steel studied. Surprisingly, the precipitated fraction remains stable all along the partitioning step at 400 °C. Furthermore, the analyses enable the conclusion that the iron carbides are most probably eta carbides. The presence of cementite was ruled out, while the presence of several epsilon carbides cannot be strictly excluded. View Full-Text
Keywords: steel; Q&P; transition carbide; precipitation; HEXRD; TEM steel; Q&P; transition carbide; precipitation; HEXRD; TEM
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Allain, S.Y.P.; Aoued, S.; Quintin-Poulon, A.; Gouné, M.; Danoix, F.; Hell, J.-C.; Bouzat, M.; Soler, M.; Geandier, G. In Situ Investigation of the Iron Carbide Precipitation Process in a Fe-C-Mn-Si Q&P Steel. Materials 2018, 11, 1087.

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