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Enhancing In-Use Properties of Advanced Steels

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Metals and Alloys".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 March 2024 | Viewed by 5663

Special Issue Editors

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Metalúrgicas (CENIM-CSIC), Avda Gregorio del Amo, 8, E-28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: phase transformation in steels; complex microstructures in advanced steels; both applied and fundamental aspects of the design, processing, and characterization of nanocrystalline steels
Department of Metal Forming, Welding and Metrology, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Wybrzeże Wyspiańskiego 27, 50-370 Wroclaw, Poland
Interests: high-strength steels; heat treatment; welding; retained austenite; electron microscopy; bainite

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For several decades, advanced steel grades have attracted the attention of researchers and industry professionals. However, the majority of research focuses on the optimization of mechanical properties and modeling of the microstructure. The possibility of industrial implementation is also determined by the in-use properties that strongly affect the manufacturing process. From industry insight, it is important to develop new strategies and concepts for designing steels that, in addition to excellent mechanical properties, are characterized by properties focused on specific operating conditions and technological processes.

This Special Issue aims to provide an opportunity for researchers from both academia and industry to share their advances pertinent to the Special Issue “Enhancing in-use properties of advanced steels”, which covers the design strategy of novel grades of advanced steels focused on in-use properties crucial in terms of industrialization such as weldability, thermomechanical processes, thermal stability at elevated temperatures, corrosion resistance and novel methods of corrosion protection, modeling of mechanical properties focused on specific operating conditions, as well as explanations of the relationship between structure and properties (in-use, technological, mechanical, etc.). Both fundamental insights and practical foresights are greatly welcome in the form of research articles or reviews addressing topics such as thermodynamics, kinetics, physical modelling, numerical simulation, microstructural evolution, advanced characterization of structure constituents, artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computation.

Prof. Dr. Francisca G. Caballero
Dr. Krolicka Aleksandra
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • modeling of the chemical composition of novel grades of advanced steels
  • advanced multi-phase, TRIP/TWIP, bainitic or martensitic steels
  • industrialization aspects in terms of in-use properties
  • weldability, thermomechanical processes, corrosion resistance, wear
  • thermal and mechanical stability of phase constituents
  • thermal stability in elevated temperatures, creep resistance
  • structure–properties relationships, with a focus on specific working conditions

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

22 pages, 8943 KiB  
Article
Possibilities of Increasing the Durability of Dies Used in the Extrusion Process of Valve Forgings from Chrome-Nickel Steel by Using Alternative Materials from Hot-Work Tool Steels
Materials 2024, 17(2), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17020346 - 10 Jan 2024
Viewed by 424
Abstract
This study refers to an analysis of the dies used in the first operation of producing a valve forging from chromium-nickel steel NC3015. The analyzed process of manufacturing forgings of exhaust valves is realized in the co-extrusion technology, followed by forging in closed [...] Read more.
This study refers to an analysis of the dies used in the first operation of producing a valve forging from chromium-nickel steel NC3015. The analyzed process of manufacturing forgings of exhaust valves is realized in the co-extrusion technology, followed by forging in closed dies. This type of technology is difficult to master, mainly due to the increased adhesion of the charge material to the tool substrate as well as the complex conditions of the tools’ operations, which are caused by the cyclic thermo-mechanical loads and also the hard tribological conditions. The average durability of tools made from tool steel WLV (1.2365), subjected to thermal treatment and nitriding, equals about 1000 forgings. In order to perform an in-depth analysis, a complex analysis of the presently realized technology was conducted in combination with multi-variant numerical simulations. The obtained results showed numerous cracks on the tools, especially in the cross-section reduction area, as well as sticking of the forging material, which, with insufficient control of the tribological conditions, can cause premature wear of the dies. In order to increase the durability of forging dies, alternative materials made of hot work tool steels were used: QRO90 Supreme, W360, and Unimax. The preliminary tests showed that the best results were obtained for QRO90, as the average durability for the tools made of this steel equaled about 1200 forgings (with an increase in both the minimal and maximal values), with reference to the 1000 forgings for the material applied so far. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancing In-Use Properties of Advanced Steels)
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18 pages, 21608 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Homogenization Heat Treatment on 316L Stainless Steel Cast Billet
Materials 2024, 17(1), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17010232 - 31 Dec 2023
Viewed by 636
Abstract
This investigation aims to analyze the effect of homogenization heat treatment at 1240 °C for 2 and 6 h on the hardness, distribution, morphology, and chemical composition of the δ-ferrite and sigma phases in 316L stainless steel cast billet. A field emission scanning [...] Read more.
This investigation aims to analyze the effect of homogenization heat treatment at 1240 °C for 2 and 6 h on the hardness, distribution, morphology, and chemical composition of the δ-ferrite and sigma phases in 316L stainless steel cast billet. A field emission scanning electron microscope, combined with electron back-scattered diffraction, a field emission electron probe microanalyzer with a wavelength dispersive spectrometer, and a Vickers microhardness tester are applied to identify various phase evolutions in the cast billet. The morphology of the δ-ferrite and sigma phases in the austenite matrix of the 316L cast billet are strongly related to the subsequent hot and cold wire drawings. The homogenization heat treatment is expected to provide a driving force to form spheroid interdendritic δ-ferrite and to minimize the amount of the brittle sigma intermetallic compound in the austenite matrix. The homogenization heat treatment at 1240 °C effectively spheroidized all δ-ferrites into blunt ones in the cast billet. The transformation of δ-ferrite into sigma is dominated by temperature and cooling rate. The fast air cooling after homogenization between 1240 and 850 °C retards the precipitation of the sigma in the δ-ferrite. There are two δ-ferrite transformation mechanisms in this experiment. The direct transformation of the δ-ferrite into sigma is observed in the as-cast 316L stainless steel billet. In contrast, the eutectoid transformation of the δ-ferrite into the sigma and austenite dominates the 316L cast billet homogenized at 1240 °C, with a slow furnace cooling rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancing In-Use Properties of Advanced Steels)
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18 pages, 11415 KiB  
Article
Effect of Prior Boriding on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Nanobainitic X37CrMoV5-1 Hot-Work Tool Steel
Materials 2023, 16(12), 4237; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16124237 - 07 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 868
Abstract
The influence of prior pack boriding on the microstructure and properties of nanobainitised X37CrMoV5-1 hot-work tool steel was investigated in the present work. Pack boriding was conducted at 950 °C for 4 h. Nanobainitising consisted of two-step isothermal quenching at 320 °C for [...] Read more.
The influence of prior pack boriding on the microstructure and properties of nanobainitised X37CrMoV5-1 hot-work tool steel was investigated in the present work. Pack boriding was conducted at 950 °C for 4 h. Nanobainitising consisted of two-step isothermal quenching at 320 °C for 1 h, followed by annealing at 260 °C for 18 h. A combination of boriding with nanobainitising constituted a new hybrid treatment. The obtained material exhibited a hard borided layer (up to 1822 ± 226 HV0.05) and a strong (rupture strength 1233 ± 41 MPa) nanobainitic core. However, the presence of a borided layer decreased mechanical properties under tensile and impact load conditions (total elongation decreased by 95% and impact toughness by 92%). Compared with borided and conventionally quenched and tempered steel, the hybrid–treated material retained higher plasticity (total elongation higher by 80%) and higher impact toughness (higher by 21%). It was found that the boriding led to the redistribution of carbon and silicon atoms between the borided layer and substrate, which could influence bainitic transformation in the transition zone. Furthermore, the thermal cycle in the boriding process also influenced the phase transformations during subsequent nanobainitising. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancing In-Use Properties of Advanced Steels)
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17 pages, 56302 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Hybrid Treatment Combining Boriding and Nanobainitising on the Tribological and Mechanical Properties of 66SiMnCrMo6-6-4 Bearing Steel
Materials 2023, 16(9), 3436; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16093436 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 813
Abstract
The effect of a new hybrid heat treatment consisting of pack-boriding and nanobainitising on the microstructure and properties of EN 66SiMnCrMo6-6-4 bearing steel was investigated. The hybrid treatment produces a new high-strength (ca. 1480 MPa) material with a hard boride (ca. 2000 HV0.05) [...] Read more.
The effect of a new hybrid heat treatment consisting of pack-boriding and nanobainitising on the microstructure and properties of EN 66SiMnCrMo6-6-4 bearing steel was investigated. The hybrid treatment produces a new high-strength (ca. 1480 MPa) material with a hard boride (ca. 2000 HV0.05) surface layer and a relatively ductile nanobainitic core. The formation of the boride layer significantly improves wear resistance. The boride layer, which is hard but susceptible to cracking, reduces the mechanical properties under tensile and impact loads. However, the borided and nanobainitised steel exhibits much higher tensile strength and ductility and slightly better impact toughness than steel after post-boriding quenching and tempering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancing In-Use Properties of Advanced Steels)
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18 pages, 17274 KiB  
Article
Controlling the Thermal Stability of a Bainitic Structure by Alloy Design and Isothermal Heat Treatment
Materials 2023, 16(8), 2963; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16082963 - 07 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1106
Abstract
The aim of this work was to develop a novel bainitic steel that will be specifically dedicated to achieving a high degree of refinement (nano- or submicron scale) along with increased thermal stability of the structure at elevated temperatures. The material was characterized [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to develop a novel bainitic steel that will be specifically dedicated to achieving a high degree of refinement (nano- or submicron scale) along with increased thermal stability of the structure at elevated temperatures. The material was characterized by improved in-use properties, expressed as the thermal stability of the structure, compared to nanocrystalline bainitic steels with a limited fraction of carbide precipitations. Assumed criteria for the expected low martensite start temperature, bainitic hardenability level, and thermal stability are specified. The steel design process and complete characteristics of the novel steel including continuous cooling transformation and time–temperature–transformation diagrams based on dilatometry are presented. Moreover, the influence of bainite transformation temperature on the degree of structure refinement and dimensions of austenite blocks was also determined. It was assessed whether, in medium-carbon steels, it is possible to achieve a nanoscale bainitic structure. Finally, the effectiveness of the applied strategy for enhancing thermal stability at elevated temperatures was analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancing In-Use Properties of Advanced Steels)
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23 pages, 12844 KiB  
Article
Prediction of Hole Expansion Ratio for Advanced High-Strength Steel with Image Feature Analysis of Sheared Edge
Materials 2023, 16(7), 2847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16072847 - 03 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
The punching process of AHSS induces edge cracks in successive process, limiting the application of AHSS for vehicle bodies. Controlling and predicting edge quality is substantially difficult due to the large variation in edge quality, die wear induced by high strength, and the [...] Read more.
The punching process of AHSS induces edge cracks in successive process, limiting the application of AHSS for vehicle bodies. Controlling and predicting edge quality is substantially difficult due to the large variation in edge quality, die wear induced by high strength, and the complex effect of phase distribution. To overcome this challenge, a quality prediction model that considers the variation of the entire edge should be developed. In this study, the image of the entire edge was analyzed to provide a comprehensive evaluation of its quality. Statistical features were extracted from the edge images to represent the edge quality of DP780, DP980, and MART1500 steels. Combined with punching monitoring signals, a prediction model for hole expansion ratio was developed under punch conditions of varying clearance, punch angle, and punch edge radius. It was found that the features of grayscale variation are affected by the punching conditions and are related to the double burnish and uneven burr, which degrades the edge quality. Prediction of HER was possible based on only edge image and monitoring signals, with the same performance as the prediction based solely on punching parameters and material properties. The prediction performance improved when using all the features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancing In-Use Properties of Advanced Steels)
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