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05-05-2016 | Symposium: New Steels for Applications under Extreme Conditions | Issue 11/2016 Open Access

Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A 11/2016

Effect of Prior Austenite Grain Size Refinement by Thermal Cycling on the Microstructural Features of As-Quenched Lath Martensite

Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A > Issue 11/2016
Javier Hidalgo, Maria Jesus Santofimia
Important notes
Manuscript submitted January 25, 2016.


Current trends in steels are focusing on refined martensitic microstructures to obtain high strength and toughness. An interesting manner to reduce the size of martensitic substructure is by reducing the size of the prior austenite grain (PAG). This work analyzes the effect of PAGS refinement by thermal cycling on different microstructural features of as-quenched lath martensite in a 0.3C-1.6Si-3.5Mn (wt pct) steel. The application of thermal cycling is found to lead to a refinement of the martensitic microstructures and to an increase of the density of high misorientation angle boundaries after quenching; these are commonly discussed to be key structural parameters affecting strength. Moreover, results show that as the PAGS is reduced, the volume fraction of retained austenite increases, carbides are refined and the concentration of carbon in solid solution as well as the dislocation density in martensite increase. All these microstructural modifications are related with the manner in which martensite forms from different prior austenite conditions, influenced by the PAGS.

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