Hot ductility of TWIP steels

Eon Kang, Shin (2014). Hot ductility of TWIP steels. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)

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TWIP (Twining Induced Plasticity) steel is very promising AHSS (Advanced High Strength Steel) grade owing to its superior toughness and ductility. Recently it has attracted the interest of the automotive and steelmaking industries, as the need for reducing weight to provide better fuel efficiency is of paramount importance with the gradual depletion of fuel resources. A high Al, TWIP steel is being commercially developed as Al has been found very well in delaying fraction in deep drawn products. However these steels are difficult to continuous cast and cracking can occur at the slab surface. Therefore it becomes very important to gain an understanding of the cause of this cracking, in order to prevent their occurrence.

To assess the likelihood of the cracking in these high Al TWIP steel slabs (1~1.5%Al, 0.6%C, 18%Mn), conventional hot tensile tests were performed to simulate the continuous casting process. A variety of TWIP steels were tested in order to determine the influence of such factors as chemical composition, cooling rate and thermal cycle on hot ductility. Using a cooling rate of 60oC/min after heating to 1250oC, ductility was generally <40% RA (Reduction of Area) indicating that these high Al TWIP steels it will be difficult to cast without transverse cracking occurring. The 1.5%Al containing steels had worse ductility than the low Al containing steels (0.02%Al) because of the presence of large amounts of AlN precipitated at the austenite grain boundaries. Reducing the Al and N level improved ductility.

Higher strength Nb/V high Al containing TWIP steels were also examined although ductility was likely to be worse than the simpler microalloying free TWIP steels as was confirmed. Increasing the cooling rate from 60 to 180oC/min after melting caused the ductility to further deteriorate and high N levels produced only a small reduction in the ductility, probably because ductility is so poor.

Increasing the S level from 0.003 to 0.01% caused the ductility to deteriorate in TWIP steels free of microalloying. Increasing the S level to 0.023% caused no further deterioration in ductility even though the MnS volume fraction increased.

The worse ductility in the higher S steels was not caused by a simple increase in the sulphide volume fraction but more a consequence of the change from coarse hexagonal plate AlN, which are mainly within the matrix and so have little influence on the hot ductility, to very long dendritic rod precipitates, which are situated at the dendritic or close to the austenite grain boundaries. This dendritic precipitation was rarely observed in the low S steel. The MnS inclusions appeared to act as nucleation sites for the precipitation of AlN and when there was few inclusions precipitation of AlN was mainly confined to the matrix.

The ductility of Nb containing high Al, TWIP steels was very poor in the as-cast condition. Adding B and Ti still gave rise to extremely poor ductility when a cooling rate of 60 oC/min was used but reducing it to 12oC/min caused the ductility to improve so that RA values were now close to the 35~40% RA value required to avoid transverse cracking. To improve ductility B and Ti additions were examined. 0.04%Ti and 0.002%B are required to ensure good hot ductility in high Al, TWIP steels. Sufficient Ti is needed to remove all the N as TiN so preventing AlN precipitating as films over the austenite grain surfaces. B is also needed as it can segregate to the boundaries and strengthen them. A SIMS technique confirmed that B had indeed segregated to the boundaries. The slower cooling rate 10~15oC/min compared to 60oC/min will result in the optimum segregation of B as well as coarsening the TiN precipitates so they are no longer effective in reducing the ductility.

Following all these recommendations, i.e. a low S level, slow secondary cooling rate, a Ti level above the stoichiometric for TiN and a boron addition of 0.002%, transverse cracking was avoided commercially in these very difficult to cast high strength TWIP steels.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions: School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences

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