University of Oulu

Shubo Wang, Andrey A. Kistanov, Graham King, Sumit Ghosh, Harishchandra Singh, Sakari Pallaspuro, Al Rahemtulla, Mahesh Somani, Jukka Kömi, Wei Cao, Marko Huttula, In-situ quantification and density functional theory elucidation of phase transformation in carbon steel during quenching and partitioning, Acta Materialia, Volume 221, 2021, 117361, ISSN 1359-6454,

In-situ quantification and density functional theory elucidation of phase transformation in carbon steel during quenching and partitioning

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Author: Wang, Shubo1,2; Kistanov, Andrey A.1,2; King, Graham3;
Organizations: 1Centre for Advanced Steels Research, University of Oulu, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
2Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit, University of Oulu, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
3Canadian Light Source, 44 Innovation Blvd., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 2V3, Canada
4Materials and Mechanical Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-02-03


Phase transformation in low alloyed Fe-C steels during quenching and partitioning (Q&P), though authentically attributed to carbon diffusion, is scarcely quantified experimentally in terms of microstructural evolution and lack of fundamental backing at a quantum mechanics level. Herein, we report on a combined in-situ high energy synchrotron X-ray diffraction and density functional theory (DFT) study to unveil the physical mechanism of phase transformation in a Q&P processed advanced Fe-C steel. Beside a small fraction of bainite, a low air-quenching rate of ∼6 °C/s in the Ms to quenching temperature range leads to carbon enrichment into the untransformed austenite, which simultaneously turns up with the later stage of martensitic transformation at the existing austenite/martensite interfaces. The resulting transformations are ascertained by DFT results and attributed to a second energy barrier in ferrite/martensite facilitation to carbon diffusion to austenite at elevated temperatures, along with the well-known carbon solubility difference/equilibrium in austenite and martensite. The development of cubic martensite in the carbon steel is theoretically elucidated and attributed to more probable hopping sites and diffusion paths of carbon in the ferrite/martensite than in the austenite.

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Series: Acta materialia
ISSN: 1359-6454
ISSN-E: 1873-2453
ISSN-L: 1359-6454
Volume: 221
Article number: 117361
DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2021.117361
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 215 Chemical engineering
114 Physical sciences
216 Materials engineering
Funding: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Academy of Finland grant #311934.
Dataset Reference: Supplementary material associated with this article can be found, in the online version, at doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2021.117361.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Acta Materialia Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (