The tensile properties of a nanostructured carbide-free bainitic steel formed at 200-250°C are compared against those after tempering sufficiently to remove the retained austenite. Unexpectedly, despite the loss of retained austenite, similar or improved ductility resulted in each case. The nanostructure of the steel transformed at 250°C is examined by transmission electron microscopy, to compare the as-transformed to the tempered structure. After tempering of the material transformed at 250°C the energy absorbed during the tensile test is lower, due to the lower strength. Reduction of strength is caused by the slight coarsening of the bainite plates, and lower dislocation density after tempering. Considering the formation of carbide particles in high strength steel, impressive ductility is exhibited.
Materials Science and Engineering A 615 (2014) 340-347.
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