Special Issue "Advanced High Strength Steels by Quenching and Partitioning"

A special issue of Metals (ISSN 2075-4701).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ilchat Sabirov
Website
Guest Editor
IMDEA Materials Institute, Calle Eric Kandel 2, Getafe, 28906 Madrid, Spain
Interests: physical simulation of metallurgical processes; thermo-mechanical processing of metallic materials; processing-structure-property relationship in metallic materials
Prof. Dr. Maria J. Santofimia
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Technical University of Delft, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: solid-solid phase transformations in metals: theoretical analysis, experimental studies and simulations; microstructural control during processing in metals; relationships between microstructure and properties in metallic materials; design of novel metallic alloys
Prof. Dr. Roumen Petrov
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electromechanical, Systems and Metal Engineering, Ghent University, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium
Interests: thermal and thermo-mechanical processing of metallic materials; advanced high strength steels (AHSS); microstructural characterization including texture -SEM, EBSD, TEM, XRD; processing-structure-property relationship in metallic materials; damage and fracture in AHSS, rails and bearings
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Quenched and partitioned (Q&P) steels are complex, sophisticated materials, with carefully-selected chemical compositions and multiphase microstructures resulting from precisely controlled heating and cooling processes. The concept of the quenching and partitioning process was first proposed in 2003 by Speer and his colleagues. The key treatment parameters include annealing temperature, quenching temperature, partitioning temperature and time. Manipulation with these parameters along with the steel chemistry leads to a variety of multiphase microstructures showing a wide range of properties.

The principles of microstructural design in Q&P steels for improvement of their mechanical strength with no (or very low) reduction of tensile ductility have been understood to a satisfactory level by now. However, the steel performance for a specific industrial application is not governed just by its mechanical strength and ductility under uniaxial tension. Enhanced mechanical properties need to be combined with improved performance properties (such as fatigue, fracture, weldability, galvanability, etc.), which have been studied to a lesser extent.

For this Special Issue in Metals, we welcome research articles and reviews addressing theoretical and experimental design of steels and Q&P process, microstructure of Q&P treated steels, their mechanical and performance properties, Q&P process–microstructure –properties relationship, as well as examples of their industrial applications. The Special Issue is oriented to researchers from universities and industrial research centers and to steel producers directly involved in the production and product development.

Dr. Ilchat Sabirov
Prof. Dr. Maria J. Santofimia
Prof. Dr. Roumen Petrov
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • advanced high strength steels
  • quenching and partitioning
  • microstructure
  • retained austenite
  • mechanical properties
  • performance properties

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Austenite Reverse Transformation in a Q&P Route of Mn and Ni Added Steels
Metals 2020, 10(7), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10070862 - 29 Jun 2020
Abstract
In this work, four low carbon steels with different contents of Mn and Ni were heat treated by quenching and partitioning (Q&P) cycles where high partitioning temperatures, in the range of 550 °C–650 °C, were applied. In order to elucidate the effect of [...] Read more.
In this work, four low carbon steels with different contents of Mn and Ni were heat treated by quenching and partitioning (Q&P) cycles where high partitioning temperatures, in the range of 550 °C–650 °C, were applied. In order to elucidate the effect of applying these high partitioning temperatures with respect to more common Q&P cycles, the materials were also heat treated considering a partitioning temperature of 400 °C. The microstructure evolution during the Q&P cycles was studied by means of dilatometry tests. The microstructural characterization of the treated materials revealed that austenite retention strongly depended on the alloy content and partitioning conditions. It was shown that the occurrence of austenite reverse transformation (ART) in the partitioning stage in some of the alloys and conditions was a very effective mechanism to increase the austenite content in the final microstructure. However, the enhancement of tensile properties achieved by the application of high partitioning temperature cycles was not significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced High Strength Steels by Quenching and Partitioning)
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Open AccessArticle
Temperature Dependence of the Static and Dynamic Behaviour in a Quenching and Partitioning Processed Low-Si Steel
Metals 2020, 10(4), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10040509 - 15 Apr 2020
Abstract
Because of their excellent combination of strength and ductility, quenching and partitioning (Q & P) steels have a great chance of being added to the third generation of advanced high strength steels. The large ductility of Q & P steels arises from the [...] Read more.
Because of their excellent combination of strength and ductility, quenching and partitioning (Q & P) steels have a great chance of being added to the third generation of advanced high strength steels. The large ductility of Q & P steels arises from the presence of 10% to 15% of retained austenite which postpones necking due to the transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) effect. Moreover, Q & P steels show promising forming properties with favourable Lankford coefficients, while their planar anisotropy is low due to a weak texture. The stability of the metastable austenite is the key to obtain tailored properties for these steels. To become part of the newest generation of advanced high strength steels, Q & P steels have to preserve their mechanical properties at dynamic strain rates and over a wide range of temperatures. Therefore, in the present study, a low-Si Q & P steel was tested at temperatures from −40 °C to 80 °C and strain rates from 0.001 s−1 to 500 s−1. Results show that the mechanical properties are well-preserved at the lowest temperatures. Indeed, at −40 °C and room temperature, no significant loss of the deformation capacity is observed even at dynamic strain rates. This is attributed to the presence of a large fraction of austenite that is so (thermally) stable that it does not transform in the absence of deformation. In addition, the high stability of the austenite decreases the elongation at high test temperatures (80 °C). The additional adiabatic heating in the dynamic tests causes the largest reduction of the uniform strain for the samples tested at 80 °C. Quantification of the retained austenite fraction in the samples after testing confirmed that, at the highest temperature and strain rate, the TRIP effect is suppressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced High Strength Steels by Quenching and Partitioning)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Microstructure Evolution and Competitive Reactions during Quenching and Partitioning of a Model Fe–C–Mn–Si Alloy
Metals 2020, 10(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10010137 - 16 Jan 2020
Abstract
The mechanisms behind the carbon enrichment of austenite during quenching and partitioning are still a matter of debate. This work investigates the microstructural evolution during the quenching and partitioning of a model Fe–C–Mn–Si alloy by means of in situ high energy X-ray diffraction [...] Read more.
The mechanisms behind the carbon enrichment of austenite during quenching and partitioning are still a matter of debate. This work investigates the microstructural evolution during the quenching and partitioning of a model Fe–C–Mn–Si alloy by means of in situ high energy X-ray diffraction (HEXRD) atom probe tomography, and image analysis. The ultra-fast time-resolved quantitative information about phase transformations coupled with image analysis highlights the formation of carbide-free BCT bainite, which is formed within a very short range during the reheating and partitioning step. Its transformation rate, which is a better indicator than the intrinsic volume fraction, depends on the quenching temperature (QT). It is shown to decrease with decreasing QT, from 45% at QT = 260 °C to 20% at QT = 200 °C. As a consequence, a significant part of the carbon enrichment observed in austenite can be attributed to bainite transformation. Furthermore, a large part of carbon was shown to be trapped into martensite. Both the formation of Fe2.6C iron carbides and the segregation of carbon on lath boundaries in martensite were highlighted by atom probe tomography. The energy for carbon segregation was determined to be 0.20 eV, and the carbon concentration on the lath boundaries was obtained to be around 25 at %. Therefore, the carbon enrichment of austenite is the result of competitive reactions such as carbon partitioning from martensite, bainite transformation, and carbon trapping in martensite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced High Strength Steels by Quenching and Partitioning)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancing the Mechanical Properties of a Hot Rolled High-Strength Steel Produced by Ultra-Fast Cooling and Q&P Process
Metals 2019, 9(9), 958; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9090958 - 31 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The quenching and partitioning (Q&P) process of advanced high strength steels results in a significant enhancement in their strength and ductility. The development of controlled rolling and cooling technology provides an efficient tool for microstructural design in steels. This approach allows to control [...] Read more.
The quenching and partitioning (Q&P) process of advanced high strength steels results in a significant enhancement in their strength and ductility. The development of controlled rolling and cooling technology provides an efficient tool for microstructural design in steels. This approach allows to control phase transformations in order to generate the desired microstructure in steel and, thus, to achieve the required properties. To refine grain structure in a Fe-Si-Mn-Nb steel and to generate the microstructure consisting of martensitic matrix with embedded retained austenite grains, hot rolling and pressing combined with ultrafast cooling and Q&P process is employed. The slender martensite in hot rolled Q&P steel improves the strength of test steel and the flake retained austenite improves the plasticity and work hardening ability through the Transformation Induced Plasticity (TRIP) effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced High Strength Steels by Quenching and Partitioning)
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Open AccessArticle
Microstructural Characterization and Mechanical Properties of Direct Quenched and Partitioned High-Aluminum and High-Silicon Steels
Metals 2019, 9(2), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9020256 - 21 Feb 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
A new experimental steel containing in weight percent 0.3C-2.0Mn-0.5Si-1.0Al-2.2Cr and 0.3C-1.9Mn-1.0Si-1.0Cr was hot rolled in a laboratory rolling mill and directly quenched within the martensite start and finish temperature range. It was then partitioned without reheating during slow furnace cooling to achieve tensile [...] Read more.
A new experimental steel containing in weight percent 0.3C-2.0Mn-0.5Si-1.0Al-2.2Cr and 0.3C-1.9Mn-1.0Si-1.0Cr was hot rolled in a laboratory rolling mill and directly quenched within the martensite start and finish temperature range. It was then partitioned without reheating during slow furnace cooling to achieve tensile yield strengths over 1100 MPa with good combinations of strength, ductility and impact toughness. Gleeble thermomechanical simulations led to the selection of the partitioning at the temperatures 175 and 225 °C, which produced the desired microstructures of lath martensite with finely divided retained austenite in fractions of 6.5% and 10% respectively. The microstructures were analyzed using light and scanning electron microscopy in combination with electron backscatter diffraction and X-ray diffraction analysis. The mechanical properties were characterized extensively using hardness, tensile and Charpy V impact testing. In tensile testing a transformation induced plasticity mechanism was shown to operate with the less stable, carbon-poorer retained austenite, which transformed to martensite during straining. The auspicious results in respect to microstructures and mechanical properties indicate that there are possibilities for developing tough ductile structural steels through thermomechanical rolling followed by the direct quenching and partitioning route. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced High Strength Steels by Quenching and Partitioning)
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Open AccessArticle
Superior Mechanical Properties and Work-Hardening Ability of Ultrafine-Grained Quenched and Partitioned Steels Processed by a Novel Approach Involving Asymmetric Hot Rolling
Metals 2018, 8(11), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8110872 - 25 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
An approach is proposed to enhance the mechanical properties and work-hardening (WH) ability of low-alloy steels. Using asymmetric hot rolling (AHR) and subsequent direct quenching (DQ) prior to the quenching and partitioning (Q&P) process, an ultrafine-grained Q&P steel with excellent combination of tensile [...] Read more.
An approach is proposed to enhance the mechanical properties and work-hardening (WH) ability of low-alloy steels. Using asymmetric hot rolling (AHR) and subsequent direct quenching (DQ) prior to the quenching and partitioning (Q&P) process, an ultrafine-grained Q&P steel with excellent combination of tensile strength of ~1000 MPa and total elongation of ~35% was obtained, which exhibited high WH exponent at higher strain induced by the higher volume fraction and higher stability of film-like retained austenite located between the martensite laths. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced High Strength Steels by Quenching and Partitioning)
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Open AccessArticle
A Study of the Optimum Quenching Temperature of Steels with Various Hot Rolling Microstructures after Cold Rolling, Quenching and Partitioning Treatment
Metals 2018, 8(8), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8080579 - 26 Jul 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Quenching and partitioning (Q&P) processes were applied to a cold-rolled high strength steel (0.19C-1.26Si-2.82Mn-0.92Ni, wt %). The effects of the prior hot-rolled microstructure on the optimum quenching temperature of the studied steels were systematically investigated. The microstructure was analyzed by means of transmission [...] Read more.
Quenching and partitioning (Q&P) processes were applied to a cold-rolled high strength steel (0.19C-1.26Si-2.82Mn-0.92Ni, wt %). The effects of the prior hot-rolled microstructure on the optimum quenching temperature of the studied steels were systematically investigated. The microstructure was analyzed by means of transmission electron microscope (TEM), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Compared with the ferrite pearlite mixture matrix, the lower martensite start (Ms) temperature and smaller prior austenite grain size in the cold-rolled martensite matrix are the main reasons for the optimum quenching temperature shifting to a lower temperature in the Q&P steels. We found that an empirical formula that only considers the influence of the alloy composition in the calculation of the Ms temperature will cause a certain interference to the pre-determined optimum quenching temperature of the Q&P steel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced High Strength Steels by Quenching and Partitioning)
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