Improvement of the mechanical properties of TRIP-assisted multiphase steels by application of innovative thermal or thermomechanical processes
For ecological reasons, the current main challenge of the automotive industry is to reduce the fuel consumption of vehicles and then emissions of greenhouse gas. In this context, steelmakers and automotive manufacturers decided for some years now to join their efforts to promote the development and use of advanced high strength steels such as TRIP steels. A combination of high strength and large elongation is obtained thanks to the TRansformation Induced Plasticity (TRIP) effect. However, improvement of the mechanical properties is still possible, especially by the refinement of the matrix. In this work, two main ways were followed in order to reach improved properties. The classical way consisting of the annealing of cold-rolled samples and an innovative way consisting of obtaining the desired microstructure by direct hot rolling of the samples. In the classical way, this refinement can be obtained by acting on the chemical composition (with such alloying elements like Cu and Nb). It was observed that complete recrystallisation of the ferrite matrix is quite impossible in presence of Cu precipitates. In addition, if the ferrite recrystallisation is not completed before reaching the eutectoid temperature, the recrystallisation will be slowed down by a large way. An innovative heat treatment consisting in keeping the copper in solid solution in the high-Cu steel was developed. Therefore, ferrite recrystallises quite easily and very fine ferrite grains (~1µm) were obtained. In the innovative way, the effects of hot-rolling conditions on TRIP-assisted multiphase steels are of major importance for industrial practice and could open new dimensions for the TRIP steels (i.e. thanks to precipitation mechanisms leading to additive strengthening). Impressive mechanical properties (true stress at maximum load of 1500 MPa and true strain at uniform elongation of 0.22) were obtained with a relatively easy thermomechanical process, the role played by Nb being essential.
School:Université catholique de Louvain
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:trip effect thermomechanical process niobium additions bainite matrix copper ferrite recrystallization high strength steels retained austenite
Date of Publication:08/28/2008