1995 Volume 35 Issue 12 Pages 1523-1531
The roles of softening and precipitation were investigated by means of hot torsion experiments under conditions simulating either plate or sheet rolling. Six microalloyed steels containing Nb were studied. During the first few finishing passes in the sheet rolling simulations, the mean flow stress (MFS) increased as the interpass time was decreased. Due to strain accumulation, the rate of static recrystallization (SRX) increased significantly after each pass. By taking both strain accumulation and grain refinement into account, it is shown that SRX plays a marked role under sheet rolling conditions, even at temperatures below the no-recrystallization temperature for plate rolling conditions. The accumulated or retained strain reaches the critical value required to initiate dynamic recrystallization only at the lowest entry and rolling temperatures and shortest interpass times. The kinetics of the strain-induced precipitation of NbCN under continuous cooling conditions, taking partial SRX into account, indicate that precipitation begins after 2 to 5 passes when 3 s interpass times are employed, thus reducing further softening. But when 1 s interpass times are used, most of the passes take place before copious precipitation, so that static and post-dynamic (i.e. metadynamic) softening may continue to take place. As a result, the MFS level decreases as the interpass time is shortened during the final passes. The extent of grain refinement was similar in both the sheet rolling and plate rolling simulations. The ferrite grain size is shown to depend on MFS of the final pass, and is independent of the chemical composition of the microalloyed steel.