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The Effect of Rapid Heating and Fast Cooling on the Transformation Behavior and Mechanical Properties of an Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS)

1
Ternium-Mexico, 66450 San Nicolas de los Garza, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
2
Ferrous Physical Metallurgy Group, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2019, 9(5), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9050545
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Low-carbon and Stainless Steels)
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Abstract

The major goal of this work was to study the effect of rapid heating and fast cooling on the transformation behavior of 22MnB5 steel. The effect of the initial microstructure (ferrite + pearlite or fully spheroidized) on the transformation behavior of austenite (during intercritical and supercritical annealing) in terms of heating rates (2.5, 30 & 200 °C/s) and fast cooling, i.e., 300 °C/s rate, were studied. As expected, the kinetics of austenite nucleation and growth were strongly related to the heating rates. Similarly, the carbon content of the austenite was higher at lower intercritical annealing temperatures, particularly when slower heating rates were used. The supercritical temperatures used in this study were similar to those used during commercial hot stamping operations, i.e., 845 and 895 °C, respectively, followed by a fast cooling rate. The prior austenite grain size (PAGS) was not strongly influenced by the nature of the initial microstructure, heating rate, reheating temperatures (845 or 895 °C), at 30 s holding time. The decomposition of austenite using fast cooling rates was examined. The results showed that 100% martensite was not obtained. The observed low temperature transformation products consisted of mixtures of martensite-bainite plus undissolved Fe3C carbides and small amounts of martensite-austenite (M-A). At higher supercritical temperatures, i.e., 1000 °C and 1050 °C, the final microstructure showed an increase in the volume fraction of martensite and a decrease in the volume fraction of bainite. The Fe3C and the M-A microconstituent were not observed. The best combination of tensile properties was obtained on samples reheated in the lower temperature range (845 to 895 °C). Interestingly, when the samples where reheated at the higher temperature range (1000 to 1050 °C) and fast cooled, the results of the mechanical properties did not exhibit significantly higher strength levels independent of heating rate or initial microstructural condition. This can be attributed to the change in the microstructural balance %martensite+%bainite as the reheating temperature increases. The results of this study are presented and discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: EBSD-IQ; fast heating rate; formation of austenite; initial microstructure; PAGS; transformation behavior; tensile properties EBSD-IQ; fast heating rate; formation of austenite; initial microstructure; PAGS; transformation behavior; tensile properties
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Pedraza, J.P.; Landa-Mejia, R.; García-Rincon, O.; Garcia, C.I. The Effect of Rapid Heating and Fast Cooling on the Transformation Behavior and Mechanical Properties of an Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). Metals 2019, 9, 545.

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