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06-05-2016 | Issue 6/2016

Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance 6/2016

Microstructure and Mechanism of Strengthening of Microalloyed Pipeline Steel: Ultra-Fast Cooling (UFC) Versus Laminar Cooling (LC)

Journal:
Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance > Issue 6/2016
Authors:
J. Zhao, X. Wang, W. Hu, J. Kang, G. Yuan, H. Di, R. D. K. Misra

Abstract

A novel thermo-mechanical controlled processing (TMCP) schedule involving ultra-fast cooling (UFC) technique was used to process X70 (420 MPa) microalloyed pipeline steel with high strength-high toughness combination. A relative comparison is made between microstructure and mechanical properties between conventionally processed (CP) and ultra-fast cooled (UFC) pipeline steels, together with differences in strengthening mechanisms with respect to both types of processes. UFC-processed steel exhibited best combination of strength and good toughness compared to the CP process. The microstructure of CP pipeline steel mainly consisted of acicular ferrite (AF), bainitic ferrite (BF), and dispersed secondary martensite/austenite (M/A) constituent and a small fraction of fine quasi-polygonal ferrite. In contrast, the microstructure of UFC-processed pipeline steel was predominantly composed of finer AF, BF, and dispersed M/A constituent. The primary strengthening mechanisms in UFC pipeline steel were grain size strengthening and dislocation strengthening with strength increment of ~277 and ~151 MPa, respectively. However, the strengthening contribution in CP steel was related to grain size strengthening, dislocation strengthening, and precipitation strengthening, and the corresponding strength increments were ~212, ~149 and ~86 MPa, respectively. The decrease in strength induced by reducing Nb and Cr in UFC pipeline steel was compensated by enhancing the contribution of grain size strengthening in the UFC process. In conclusion, cooling schedule of UFC combined with LC is a promising method for processing low-cost pipeline steels.

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