Ferritic Nb-alloyed Cr-Steel in simulated strip casting process
AbstractNb alloyed ferritic Cr-steel is usually produced by continuous casting with following hot and cold rolling procedure. In the laboratory scale the possible new route via strip casting was studied. The scope of the investigation in simulated process route was the development of microstructure and precipitations. In the experiments process parameters similar to those of the real strip caster were chosen, then those of hot rolling and cold rolling of such cast strips. The quickly solidified layer was produced by immersion of a steel substrate under vacuum into melt. The microstructure showed small niobium precipitates in the grain matrix and at the grain boundaries. Their size and distribution was evaluated for different niobium contents and cooling rates in the as-solidified structure. The diffusion controlled change of the precipitate morphology was also analysed after preheating and rolling. Reprecipitation and precipitate growth, as well as dissolution of precipitations at the grain boundaries were observed. The effect of various cooling rates and niobium content on the shape and formation of niobium containing precipitates and on the grain boundary is discussed. Thermodynamic calculations using FactSage were carried out in order to predict the precipitation of Nb-rich phases in ferritic stainless steels. The effect of the chemical composition and temperature on the thermodynamic stability of these precipitates was evaluated.