Nanostructured bainitic steel obtained by powder metallurgy approach: structure, transformation kinetics and mechanical properties

I. Lonardelli and L. Girardini and L. Maines and C. Menapace and A. Molinari and H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia


A powder metallurgical approach is investigated in the context of extremely fine low temperature bainitic steels with a reasonable combination of ultimate tensile strength and uniform elongation. The strategy consists of three steps. First, ball milling is used for mechanical alloying and to create a large density of interfaces prior to sintering. In the second step, spark plasma sintering is used as a rapid consolidation process to retain a very fine and homogeneous structure after sintering. The isothermal heat treatment which leads to bainite can then be done at a low austenitisation temperature (860°C) for a few minutes, leading to a small initial austenite grain size. A fine grain size promotes the rapid transformation of the austenite into bainite. The characteristics of a nanostructured Fe‐Ni‐C bainitic steel obtained after mechanical alloying and nanostructuring of the powder, spark plasma sintering and final heat treatment are reported.

Powder Metallurgy 55 (2012) 256-259

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