Kinetics of Vanadium Carbonitride Precipitation in Steel: A Computer Model


We have constructed a computer model of the precipitation kinetics of vanadium carbonitride in steel that takes into account the composition evolution of the precipitates with time. The model takes advantage of the fast diffusion of nitrogen and carbon compared to niobium to derive the composition, size and rate of formation of the precipitates during their nucleation. A local equilibrium condition is used at the precipitate–matrix interface to derive the growth rate of each precipitate as a function of its size and the current matrix composition. Coarsening occurs naturally on account of the Gibbs–Thomson capillarity effect. For isothermal heat treatments, the calculations show that the precipitates nucleate as almost pure vanadium nitrides. They subsequently grow at the expense of solute nitrogen. When nitrogen is exhausted, the solute carbon precipitates and progressively transforms the nitrides into carbonitrides. The coarsening stage leads to a steady-state size distribution of niobium carbonitrides of the equilibrium composition.


vanadium carbonitride, precipitation kinetics, modelling, steel


Philippe Maugis and Mohamed Gouné


Arcelor Research SA, Voie Romaine, BP 30320, 57283 Maizières-lès-Metz, France


Acta Materialia, Vol. 53, No. 12, July 2005, pp.3359-3367

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