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Open AccessArticle

Nanoindentation-Based Micro-Mechanical and Electrochemical Properties of Quench-Hardened, Tempered Low-Carbon Steel

1
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
2
Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, CEET, University of the Punjab, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
3
School of Chemical and Materials Engineering, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Crystals 2020, 10(6), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10060508
Received: 15 April 2020 / Revised: 29 May 2020 / Accepted: 2 June 2020 / Published: 15 June 2020
The nanoindentation technique is widely used to measure the micro-scale mechanical properties of various materials. Herein, the nanoindentation-based micro-mechanical and electrochemical properties of low-carbon steel were investigated after quench hardening and tempering processes. The steel was produced on a laboratory scale and subjected to quench hardening separately in two different media-water and brine (10 wt% NaCl)-and subsequent moderate temperature tempering. Microstructure analysis revealed that the lath martensite phase formed after all heat treatments, having different carbon percentages ranging from 0.26% to 0.58%. A ferrite phase was also observed in the microstructure in three different morphologies, i.e., allotriomorphic ferrite, idiomorphic ferrite, and Widmanstätten ferrite. Nanoindentation analysis showed that the brine quench hardening process provided a maximum twofold improvement in indentation hardness and a 51% improvement in stiffness with a 30% reduction in reduced elastic modulus compared with as-received steel. Electrochemical performance was also evaluated in a 1% HNO3 solution. The water quench-hardened and tempered sample exhibited the highest corrosion resistance, whereas the brine quench-hardened sample exhibited the lowest corrosion resistance among all heat-treated samples. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoindentation; electrochemical analysis; low-carbon steel; indentation hardness nanoindentation; electrochemical analysis; low-carbon steel; indentation hardness
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MDPI and ACS Style

ArslanHafeez, M.; Usman, M.; Arshad, M.A.; AdeelUmer, M. Nanoindentation-Based Micro-Mechanical and Electrochemical Properties of Quench-Hardened, Tempered Low-Carbon Steel. Crystals 2020, 10, 508.

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