2018 Volume 58 Issue 6 Pages 1086-1093
This paper presents our latest studies on the effects of coiling temperature on the microstructure, precipitation behavior, and mechanical properties of an Nb–Ti microalloyed steel produced by endless strip processing (ESP) and coiled at different temperatures. The amounts of soluble elements were measured using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The microstructure and precipitates were analyzed using SEM, EBSD, TEM, and electrolytic dissolution and filtration tests. The results revealed that large amounts of microalloying elements were still in solution before coiling. As the coiling temperature decreased from 600°C to 560°C, the content of acicular ferrites (AF) increased and the average ferritic grain size was refined from 2.01 µm to 1.29 µm, the yield strength and tensile strength of the tested steel increased by 22 MPa and 20 MPa, respectively, under the effect of microstructural strengthening. As the coiling temperature increased from 600°C to 640°C, the mass fraction of precipitates increased from 0.083% to 0.110% and the percentage of fine precipitates (smaller than 18 nm) increased from 12.2% to 14.7%; the intense precipitation strengthening effect increased the yield strength and tensile strength by 35 MPa and 42 MPa, respectively. Therefore, as the coiling temperature decreased from 640°C to 560°C, the strength of the tested steel decreased first and then increased while the elongation decreased steadily from 18.9% to 14.1% due to the increasing content of AF.