Nanoscale co-precipitation in a novel high-strength low-carbon steel is studied in detail after isothermal aging. Atom-probe tomography is utilized to quantify the co-precipitation of co-located Cu precipitates and M2C (M is any combination of Cr, Mo, Fe, or Ti) carbide strengthening precipitates. Coarsening of Cu precipitates is offset by the nucleation and growth of M 2C carbide precipitate, resulting in the maintenance of a yield strength of 1047 ± 7 MPa (152 ± 1 ksi) for as long as 320 h of aging time at 450 °C. Impact energies of 153 J (113 ± 6 ft-lb) and 144 J (106 ± 2 ft-lb) are measured at -30 °C and -60 °C, respectively. The co-location of Cu and M2C carbide precipitates results in non-stationary-state coarsening of the Cu precipitates. Synchrotron-source X-ray diffraction studies reveal that the measured 33% increase in impact toughness after aging for 80 h at 450 °C is due to dissolution of cementite, Fe3C, which is the source of carbon for the nucleation and growth of M2C carbide precipitates. Less than 1 vol.% austenite is observed for aging treatments at temperatures less than 600 °C, suggesting that transformation-induced plasticity does not play a significant role in the toughness of specimens aged at temperatures less than 600 °C. Aging treatments at temperatures greater than 600 °C produce more austenite, in the range 2-7%, but at the expense of yield strength.
- Atom-probe field-ion microscopy (AP-FIM)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Polymers and Plastics
- Metals and Alloys