The Mechanism of Bainite Formation in Steels

H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia and D. V. Edmonds


New microstructural evidence, together with a thermodynamic analysis, of the bainite reaction in steels are presented in support of a growth mechanism involving the propagation of displacive sub-units. The results are shown to be consistent with a displacive mechanism, rather than one involving reconstructive growth. It is also possible to account not only for sympathetic nucleation, which is a characteristic of ferrous bainites, but also to explain the nature of the incomplete reaction phenomenon. Furthermore, the analysis suggests that much of the partitioning of carbon into the residual austenite occurs subsequent to transformation, rather than during the growth process. An explanation is also developed for the limited size of the displacive sub-units in terms of the friction stress associated with the motion of the transformation interface.

Acta Metallurgica,Vol. 28, 1980, pp. 1265-1273

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