Grain-oriented silicon steels were produced by the shortest processing route involving twin-roll strip casting, two-stage cold rolling with intermediate annealing, and simulated continuous annealing. The secondary recrystallization behavior of grain-oriented silicon steels under different inhibition conditions was in-situ observed by combining the confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) techniques. The results revealed that the optimal temperature of secondary recrystallization showed a proportional relationship with the Zenner pinning force. In the case of weak pinning force, the abnormal grain growth occurred quickly at ~1050 °C. The corresponding growth rates were in the range of 60–1400 μm/min and decreased gradually as the secondary recrystallization proceeded. In the case of strong pinning force, the incubation time and onset temperature of the secondary recrystallization was significantly increased, but the total time of the secondary recrystallization was obviously shortened from 685 s to 479 s, and the final magnetic induction of B8
was increased from 1.7 T to 1.85 T. After the secondary annealing, some island grains and coarse primary grains were retained. The formation of island grain was related to the low migration of grain boundaries. The findings of coarse γ- grains indicated that the primary grain size also played a crucial role during secondary recrystallization, apart from the primary recrystallized texture, which attracted more attention previously.
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