Transverse surface cracks in continuously cast steel slabs, oscillation marks and austenite grain size
Transverse surface cracks in low carbon steel slabs are invariably inter-granular and follow the soft ferrite films outlining the grain boundaries of exceptionally large prior-austenite grains often found at the roots of oscillation marks in continuously cast low-carbon steel slabs. Plastic deformation is concentrated in the ferrite films and cracks initiate in the ferrite films, leading to crack propagation along the austenite grain boundaries. Hot-ductility is significantly reduced by an increase in austenite grain size and in situ observations revealed that depending on the cooling rate, austenite can nucleate and grow by diffusional mechanisms or forms by a massive type of reaction. The delta-ferrite transformation has also been studied by using neutron diffraction techniques and high-energy X-rays in a synchrotron.