WANG, L. ... et al., 2016. Effects of solute Nb atoms and Nb precipitates on isothermal transformation kinetics from austenite to ferrite. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 47 (7), pp.3387–3396
Nb is a very important micro-alloying element in low-carbon steels, for grain size refinement and precipitation strengthening, and even a low content of Nb can result in a significant effect on phase transformation kinetics from austenite to ferrite. Solute Nb atoms and Nb precipitates may have different effects on transformation behaviors, and these effects have not yet been fully characterized. This paper examines in detail the effects of solute Nb atoms and Nb precipitates on isothermal transformation kinetics from austenite to ferrite. The mechanisms of the effects have been analyzed using various microscopy techniques. Many solute Nb atoms were found to be segregated at the austenite/ferrite interface and apply a solute drag effect. It has been found that solute Nb atoms have a retardation effect on ferrite nucleation rate and ferrite grain growth rate. The particle pinning effect caused by Nb precipitates is much weaker than the solute drag effect.
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The authors gratefully thank Tata Steel UK Limited and Loughborough University for funding this work.