1996-08-01

Recent Advances in the Technology of Toughening Grain-Refined, High-Strength Steels 961749

Aluminum nitride and microalloy carbonitrides have been identified as microstructural features that degrade the ductile fracture resistance of tempered martensitic microstructures. A thermal/thermomechanical process has been developed to optimize the toughness of high-strength steels containing any species of grain-refining precipitate that is soluble in austenite, and the process is particularly effective at improving the impact toughness of aluminum-killed EAF steels. The process affects the mode of unstable fracture in tempered martensitic microstructures, such that at constant strength and austenite grain size, substantial improvements are realized in both longitudinal and transverse toughness over relatively broad ranges of sulfur content and tempering temperature.

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