Diffusion-Controlled Growth of Pearlite in Ternary Steels

A. S. Pandit and H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia


A theory for the diffusion–controlled growth of pearlite in steels containing manganese is presented and assessed in the light of experimental data. Given the overwhelmingly rapid diffusivity that a substitutional solute has within the transformation front, the growth rate is found to be dominated by diffusion parallel to the interface with austenite as the rate controlling step. The relevant interfacial diffusion parameters have been derived by fitting experimental data to kinetic theory. All reported measurements of pearlite growth where the full set of necessary parameters have been listed, are shown to be inconsistent with mechanisms which do not involve the partitioning of substitutional solutes. The method adopted here, which is based on local equilibrium at the transformation interface with the long–range partitioning of substitutional solutes by migration within the interface, has been shown to reasonably explain experimental data over a range of temperatures and chemical compositions.

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London - A 467 (2011) 2948-2961.

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