We describe here the effect of cooling rate on the microstructure and mechanical properties of Nb-microalloyed steels that were processed as structural beams at three different cooling rates. Nb-microalloyed steels exhibited increase in yield strength with increase in cooling rate during processing. However, the increase in the yield strength was not accompanied by loss in toughness. The microstructure at conventional cooling rate, primarily consisted of polygonal ferrite-pearlite microconstituents, while at intermediate cooling rate besides polygonal ferrite and pearlite contained significant fraction of degenerated pearlite and lath-type ferrite. At higher cooling rate, predominantly, lath-type (acicular) or bainitic ferrite was obtained. The precipitation characteristics were similar at the three cooling rates investigated with precipitation occurring at grain boundaries, on dislocations, and in the ferrite matrix. The fine scale (???8-12 nm) precipitates in the ferrite matrix were MC type of niobium carbides. The microstructural studies suggest that the increase in toughness of Nb-microalloyed steels with increase in cooling rate is related to the change in the microstructure from predominantly ferrite-pearlite to predominantly bainitic ferrite. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below