Dispersion Strengthening Particles in Vanadium Microalloyed Steels Processed by Simulated Thin Slab Casting and Direct Charging, Part 1


A study simulating thin slab continuous casting followed by direct charging into an equalisation furnace has been undertaken based on six low carbon (0·06 wt-%) vanadium microalloyed steels. Mechanical and impact test data showed that properties were similar or better than those obtained from similar microalloyed conventional thick cast as rolled slabs. The dispersion plus dislocation strengthening was estimated to be in the range 80–250 MPa. A detailed TEM/EELS analysis of the dispersion sized sub 15 nm particles showed that in all the steels, they were essentially nitrides with little crystalline carbon detected. In the steels V–Nb, V–Ti and V–Nb–Ti, mixed transition metal nitrides were present. Modelling of equilibrium precipitates in these steels, based on a modified version of ChemSage, predicted that only vanadium rich nitrides would precipitate in austenite but that the C/N ratio would increase through the two phase field and in ferrite. The experimental analytical data clearly point to the thin slab direct charging process, which has substantially higher cooling rates than conventional casting, nucleating non-equilibrium particles in ferrite which are close to stoichiometric nitrides. These did not coarsen during the final stages of processing, but retained their highly stable average size of, ∼7 nm resulting in substantial dispersion strengthening. The results are considered in conjunction with pertinent published literature.


High strength low alloy steel, Direct charged thin slab process, Precipitation, Dispersion strengthening


Y. Li (1,2), J. A. Wilson (3), A. J. Craven (3), P. S. Mitchell (2), D. N. Crowther (4) and T. N. Baker (1)


(1) Metallurgy and Materials Engineering Group, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XJ, Scotland, UK
(2) VANITEC, Winterton House, High Street, Westerham, Kent TN16 1AQ, UK
(3) Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, Scotland, UK
(4) Corus Group, Swinden Technology Centre, Rotherham, S60 3AR, UK


Materials Science and Technology, Vol. 23 No. 5, 2007, pp.509-518

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