Microstructure and Mechanical Property of Copper Bearing Eutectoid Steel

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Isothermal heat treatment was performed for austenitized Cu bearing eutectoid steels (Fe–0.8%C–Cu alloys). Microstructural observations revealed that the pearlite transformation is significantly retarded by the addition of Cu, but the morphology of pearlite, such as lamellar spacing and block size, are hardly influenced by the Cu addition. From the result of chemical analysis for cementite phase, it was found that the redistribution of Cu had occurred between ferrite and cementite through the interfacial diffusion during pearlite transformation and then the precipitation of Cu takes place simultaneously within ferrite phase. Furthermore, in the 2% Cu steel, age hardening behavior was found at the same temperature applied to the isothermal pearlite transformation. This means that the precipitation of Cu does not complete on pearlite transformation and the ferrite in pearlite structure is in the supersaturated state. Yield strength and tensile strength of the pearlite steels depend on not only lamellar spacing but also the dispersion of Cu particles within the ferrite phase. For example, 2% Cu addition increases yield strength and tensile strength by about 250 MPa without reducing ductility so much.


  • ISIJ International

    ISIJ International 48 (10), 1467-1472, 2008

    The Iron and Steel Institute of Japan

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