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Thermomechanical Processing of Structural Steels with Dilute Niobium Additions

Cui, Zhe (2016) Thermomechanical Processing of Structural Steels with Dilute Niobium Additions. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

In this thesis, the influence of various dilute Nb additions (0.005–0.02 wt%) on austenite microstructure evolution along thermomechanical processing, in terms of austenite recrystallisation and grain growth, were investigated using steels with three carbon content levels. At the homogenisation temperature of 1250°C, all dilute Nb additions were dissolved in low carbon steels whereas the Nb dissolution limits for 0.4 wt% and 0.6 wt% C steels were 0.012 wt% and 0.08 wt%, respectively. Dilute Nb additions did not show significant influence on homogenised austenite grain size. The dramatic increase in C contents was more influential, which decreased the homogenised austenite grain size. The influence of dilute Nb additions and C contents on dynamic recrystallisation behaviour was studied by rough rolling at high deformation temperature with low strain rate. The dilute Nb additions were found to increase the critical strain of dynamic recrystallisation whereas C contents showed no influence on the dynamic recrystallisation behaviour. The austenite recrystallisation behaviour after finish rolling and after the holding period between finishing passes were studied by means of interrupted plane strain compression (PSC) tests and double hit PSC tests. It was found that with low Nb supersaturation, recrystallisation happened prior to Nb precipitation. Solute Nb in austenite delayed the onset of austenite recrystallisation through solute drag effect. With high Nb supersaturation, Nb precipitation occurred before the onset of recrystallisation which completely retarded austenite recrystallisation. The austenite grain growth during the holding period between finish rolling passes was studied by the evolution of prior-austenite grain size before and after the 20s holding period at the highest finish rolling temperature (1050°C). There was no Nb precipitation found and the difference in austenite grain growth behaviour was attributed to the solute drag effect from both Nb and C in solution. It was found that Nb in solution suppressed austenite grain growth. However, the effectiveness of solute Nb in suppressing austenite grain growth was affected by the C content.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Engineering (Sheffield) > Materials Science and Engineering (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.696058
Depositing User: Mr Zhe Cui
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2016 14:57
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:30
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15470

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