Very Short and Very Long Heat-Treatments in the Processing of Steel

H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia


It is conventionally assumed in the mass production of steels that the processing time must be reasonable and that the material must have uniform properties. The consequence is that short heat-treatments cannot be tolerated since the scale of engineered products may be so large that uniform temperatures cannot be achieved. Similarly, thermal treatments requiring several days or weeks are not considered practical because of productivity concerns. In this paper, I will show that these conservative ideas are a huge disadvantage to the creation of radically different steels whose manufacture could lead to an improvement in the quality of life. Indeed, such steels are capable of wiping out the competition from newcomers in the field of structural materials, such as the infamous carbon nanotubes and metal-matrix composites.

Materials and Manufacturing Processes, 25: 1-6, 2010

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