Kinetics of Bainite Transformation in Multiphase High Carbon Low-Silicon Steel with and without Pre-Existing Martensite

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In the present study, the isothermal decomposition of austenite to bainite in 1.0 wt% carbon, 0.21% silicon steel during the partitioning step of a quenching and partitioning (Q&P) heat treatment has been investigated in a dilatometer in the temperature range of 200 to 350 °C and compared to conventional austempering heat treatment. The bainite transformation was shortened by about 75% in the presence of pre-existing martensite (QP). The kinetics of bainite transformation is described by the well-known Avrami equation. The calculated parameter ‘n’ in the Avrami equation shows that bainite forms in the absence of pre-existing martensite (TT) at a constant nucleate rate, while in the presence of pre-existing martensite, nucleation is interface controlled. The overall bainite transformation activation energy, calculated by the Avrami equation, ranges from 64 to 110 kJ/mol. The outcomes of this investigation provide guidelines for the development of multiphase microstructures, including pre-existing martensite and bainite in high-carbon low-silicon steel, within an industrially acceptable time scale and mechanical performance.

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Australian Research Council



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