Divorced Pearlite in Steels

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


Steels containing large carbon concentrations are used particularly when a large hardness is required, for example in the manufacture of components such as bearings. This, however, makes it difficult to shape or machine the alloys during the process of component manufacture unless they are first heat-treated into a softened condition. One method of achieving this economically is to generate a microstructure known as divorced pearlite, in which ferrite and cementite grow from the austenite in a non-cooperative manner, leading to a final microstructure which consists of coarse, spherical particles of cementite dispersed in a matrix of ferrite. This is in contrast to the harder lamellar pearlite which normally develops when high-carbon steels are cooled. The theoretical framework governing the transition from the divorced to the lamellar form is developed and validated experimentally.

Proceedings of the Royal Society A (2012), doi: 10.1098/rspa.2012.0115

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