Two low carbon carbide-free bainitic steels (with and without Cr addition) were designed, and each steel was treated by two kinds of heat treatment procedure (austempering and continuous cooling). The effects of Cr addition on bainitic transformation, microstructure, and properties of low carbon bainitic steels were investigated by dilatometry, metallography, X-ray diffraction, and a tensile test. The results show that Cr addition hinders the isothermal bainitic transformation, and this effect is more significant at higher transformation temperatures. In addition, Cr addition increases the tensile strength and elongation simultaneously for austempering treatment at a lower temperature. However, when the austempering temperature is higher, the strength increases and the elongation obviously decreases by Cr addition, resulting in the decrease in the product of tensile strength and elongation. Meanwhile, the austempering temperature should be lower in Cr-added steel than that in Cr-free steel in order to obtain better comprehensive properties. Moreover, for the continuous cooling treatment in the present study, the product of tensile strength and elongation significantly decreases with Cr addition due to more amounts of martensite.
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