2004 Volume 44 Issue 11 Pages 1945-1951
A ferritic steel precipitation-strengthened by nanometer-sized carbides was developed to obtain a high strength hot-rolled sheet steel having tensile strength of 780 MPa grade with excellent stretch flange formability.
Manganese in a content of 1.5% and molybdenum in a content of 0.2% were added to 0.04% carbon Ti-bearing steel in order to lower austenite-ferrite transformation temperature for fine carbides and to retard generating of pearlite and large cementites, respectively. Tensile strength of hot-rolled sheet steel increased with titanium content and it was achieved to 800 MPa in a 0.09% Ti steel. Microstructure of the 0.09%Ti steel was ferrite without pearlite and large cementites. Fine carbides of 3 nm in diameter were observed in rows in the ferrite matrix of the 0.09% Ti steel with transmission electron microscope. The characteristic arrangement of the nanometer-sized carbides indicates that the carbides were formed at austenite-ferrite interfaces during transformation. By energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, the carbides were found to contain molybdenum in the same atomic concentration as titanium. Crystal structure of the nanometer-sized carbides was determined to be NaCl-type by X-ray diffractometry. The calculated amount of precipitation-strengthening by the carbides was approximately 300 MPa. This is two or three times higher than that of conventional Ti-bearing high strength hot-rolled sheet steels.
Based on the results obtained in the laboratory investigation, mill trial was carried out. The developed hot-rolled high strength sheet steel exhibited excellent stretch flange formability.