It has been generally believed that pearlite transformation in hypoeutectoid steels starts when the average carbon concentration in untransformed austenite reaches the Acm line after the formation of proeutectoid ferrite. To test this concept experimentally, volume fractions of proeutectoid ferrite/pearlite and carbon contents in the austenite being transformed into pearlite were measured for the Fe-2Mn-0.3C alloy isothermally transformed in the temperature range 848 K to 898 K (575°C to 625°C). It was found that lamellar pearlite can form even when the average carbon content in untransformed austenite is much lower than the Acm line. This peculiar observation is probably due to the two-dimensional diffusion of carbon, i.e., parallel to and normal to the austenite/pearlite interface, which enables lamellar cementite to grow continuously by supplying carbon atoms to its growth front. This results in proeutectoid ferrite fractions with respect to pearlite being much lower than those predicted by the lever rule. With decreasing prior austenite grain size, proeutectoid ferrite fractions with respect to pearlite were found to increase, but the thickness of proeutectoid ferrite was constant within the range of grain size investigated. This is due to the existence of the critical α/γ interface velocity only below which pearlite (actually cementite) can be nucleated at the migrating α/γ interface. Furthermore, the upper limit temperatures for pearlite formation in the Fe-1Mn-0.33C and Fe-2Mn-0.3C alloys were found to be well between the PLE/NPLE and PE Ae1 temperatures.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2013 Dec 1|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Metals and Alloys