We elucidate here the mechanistic contribution of the application of quenching and partitioning (Q&P) concept to a high carbon Mn-Si-Cr steel in obtaining a multiphase microstructure comprising of martensite/austenite and nanostructured bainite (bainitic ferrite and nanometer-sized film-like retained austenite) that exhibited tensile strength of 1923 MPa and total elongation of 18.3%. The excellent mechanical properties are attributed to the enhanced refinement of blocky austenite islands obtained by the Q&P process. The austenite was stabilized by both carbon partitioning from martensite and bainite transformation. Compared with conventional heat treatment to produce nanostructured bainite, the total time is significantly reduced without degradation of mechanical properties.
Luo, P., Gao, G., Zhang, H., Tan, Z., Misra, R. D. K., & Bai, B. (2016). On structure-property relationship in nanostructured bainitic steel subjected to the quenching and partitioning process. Materials Science and Engineering A, 661, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msea.2016.03.006