2005 Volume 45 Issue 3 Pages 388-391
The effect of pre-deformation on the age hardening of a niobium-microalloyed steel is investigated by virtue of mechanical testing in conjunction with microstructural observations. The steel is aged at three temperatures 600°C, 640°C and 680°C, respectively, after solution-treated at 1200°C. The precipitation of Nb(C,N) is markedly accelerated by a pre-deformation of 15% prior to ageing, resulting in very fine particles being formed and a considerable increase in the strength of the steel with no large decrease in the ductility. Compared with the hot-rolled state, the yield strength of the deformed steel increases by about 280 MPa while that of the undeformed steel only by about 60 MPa after peak-aged at 640°C. Overall, the yield strength of the deformed steel may reach about 710 MPa with an elongation of about 19%.