Microstructural Impact of Si and Ni During High Temperature Quenching and Partitioning Process in Medium-Mn Steels
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Austenite stabilization through carbon partitioning from martensite into austenite is an essential aspect of the quenching and partitioning (Q&P) process. Substitutional alloying elements are often included in the chemical composition of Q&P steels to further control the microstructure development by inhibiting carbide precipitation (silicon) and further stabilize austenite (manganese and nickel). However, these elements can interfere in the microstructure development, especially when high partitioning temperatures are considered. In this study, the microstructural development during the Q&P process of four low-carbon, medium-manganese steels with varying contents of silicon and nickel is investigated. During partitioning at 400 °C, silicon hinders cementite precipitation in primary martensite thereby assisting carbon partitioning from martensite to austenite. During partitioning at temperatures of 500 °C and 600 °C, presence of nickel inhibits pearlite formation and promotes austenite ...