2002 Volume 42 Issue 10 Pages 1135-1143
The basic composition of IF steel is Fe-ultralow-carbon (<0.02 mass%). There is little research on the transformation behavior and microstructures of ultralow-carbon steel compared to low-carbon steels, and the details, for instance, transformation mechanism and the ratio of grain sizes of γ and α, remain unclear. Therefore, in situ observation of the γ→α transformation in an Fe-0.004%C steel was performed at a cooling rate of 0.5-18 ° C/s under a high-temperature optical microscope. The main microstructure of ferrite was αq, and with an increase in the cooling rate, the fraction of Widmanstatten ferrite-like structure and ferrite having a severely ragged interface increased. The growth rate of αq was 1x10-4 - 9x10-4 m/s which increased with the cooling rate. The growth rate of α qdecreased to about half when the amount of carbon increased to 0.01%. The ratio of γ grain size to α grain size was about 1.2, and this value is considerably smaller than the values reported for the low-carbon steels. αqcrossed γ grains frequently and some αqgrains were larger than γ grains. Usually the curvature of the αq/ γ interface did not change at the int αq rsection of the boundaries of αqand γ. This shows that αq/γ interfaces are usually incoherent in ultralow-carbon steels. Transformation temperature was in the single-phase region of α. Therefore, the γ→αq transformation observed in the present research is thought to be massive transformation. The terminology of mechanisms of γ→α transformation in ultralow-carbon steels and the microstructures of generated a was discussed.