Kinetics of bainite transformation in hot-worked and ultrafine austenite of alloy steels.

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 90, No. 1006, 1997

E.V. Konopleva, Institute for Solid State Physics RAS, Moscow, Russia, Concordia University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Montreal, Quebec and H.J. McQueen, Concordia University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Montreal, Quebec

The isothermal bainite transformation kinetics of low- and medium-carbon alloy steels after hot deformation and thermocycling treatment (TC) has been studied by the magnetometric method. Deformation was produced by rolling at 800°C-1000°C. TC included three cycles of rapid (30°C/s) electro-heating up to 900°C-1000°C followed by quenching. Hot deformation retards bainite transformation in the lower part of bainite range (400°C). The effect is greater for higher strain and lower deformation temperature. Deformation also diminishes the overall bainite fraction below 400°C and increases the completeness of reaction above 400°C. Thermocycling provides more uniform ultrafine austenite grains with average size of 3 µm -4 µm compared to 12 µm -14 µm after conventional heating. The transformation rate after TC was almost the same as after conventional heating in low-carbon steel but was faster in medium-carbon with no change in the completeness of reaction. The degree of acceleration increased with rise of transformation temperature. There are a number of factors which are responsible for a change in bainite transformation kinetics in austenite deformed at high temperatures or subjected to TC. One of the most important factors is the refinement of structure, another one is structural and chemical inhomogenity of austenite due to deformation or to rapid heating. To estimate the contribution of these factors, ?-transformation was studied after different austenitizing conditions (low-temperature heating at 850°C-950°C; high-temperature heating at 1100°C; step treatment – austenitizing at 1100°C, then cooling to 950°C-850°C). The results obtained make it possible to conclude that the structural and chemical inhomogeneity of austenite activate the bainite reaction while the grain refinement retards it. Intensity of the effect produced by each factor depends strongly on the steel composition.
Mots Clés: Kinetics, Bainite transformation, metallurgy.