Precipitation Sequence in Niobium-Alloyed Ferritic Stainless Steel

N. Fujita, H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia and M. Kikuchi


Niobium is an important alloying element in the design of heat-resistant ferritic stainless steels for automotive exhaust systems. When in solid solution, it improves both the high temperature strength and the resistance to thermal fatigue. However, it also forms several kinds of precipitates during service. These reactions have been modelled, taking into account the multicomponent nature of the diffusion process and allowing for capillarity effects. It has been possible to estimate not only the volume fractions but also the particle sizes for Fe2Nb (Laves phase) and Fe3Nb3C (M6C) carbide in a 19Cr-O.8Nb steel, with good agreement against experimental data.

Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering Vol. 12, 2004, 273-284

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