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Quantitative Analysis of Inclusion Engineering on the Fatigue Property Improvement of Bearing Steel

1
State Key Laboratory of Advanced Metallurgy, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
2
School of Metallurgical and Ecological Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aalto University, Puumiehenkuja 3, 02150 Espoo, Finland
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2019, 9(4), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9040476
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 13 April 2019 / Accepted: 20 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bearing Steels)
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Abstract

The fatigue property is significantly affected by the inner inclusions in steel. Due to the inhomogeneity of inclusion distribution in the micro-scale, it is not straightforward to quantify the effect of inclusions on fatigue behavior. Various investigations have been performed to correlate the inclusion characteristics, such as inclusion fraction, size, and composition, with fatigue life. However, these studies are generally based on vast types of steels and even for a similar steel grade, the alloy concept and microstructure information can still be of non-negligible difference. For a quantitative analysis of the fatigue life improvement with respect to the inclusion engineering, a systematic and carefully designed study is still needed to explore the engineering dimensions of inclusions. Therefore, in this study, three types of bearing steels with inclusions of the same types, but different sizes and amounts, were produced with 50 kg hot state experiments. The following forging and heat treatment procedures were kept consistent to ensure that the only controlled variable is inclusion. The fatigue properties were compared and the inclusions that triggered the fatigue cracks were analyzed to deduce the critical sizes of inclusions in terms of fatigue failure. The results show that the critical sizes of different inclusion types vary in bearing steels. The critical size of the spinel is 8.5 μm and the critical size of the calcium aluminate is 13.5 μm under the fatigue stress of 1200 MPa. In addition, with the increase of the cleanliness of bearing steels, the improvement of fatigue properties will reach saturation. Under this condition, further increasing of the cleanliness of the bearing steel will not contribute to the improvement of fatigue property for the investigated alloy and process design. View Full-Text
Keywords: inclusion engineering; fatigue property; bearing steel; total oxygen content inclusion engineering; fatigue property; bearing steel; total oxygen content
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Gu, C.; Wang, M.; Bao, Y.; Wang, F.; Lian, J. Quantitative Analysis of Inclusion Engineering on the Fatigue Property Improvement of Bearing Steel. Metals 2019, 9, 476.

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