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Type Gagliano, Michael Scott
  Publication Co-precipitation of copper and niobium carbide in a low carbon steel Volume Book Whole
Pages 2002
  Corporate Author  
  Summary Language 218 Series Editor  
Abbreviated Series Title Co-precipitation of niobium carbide and body-centered cubic (BCC) copper in ferrite was investigated as a high strength, low carbon, chromium-free alternative to conventional high performance structural steels that rely on a tempered martensitic microstructure. Theoretical nucleation and growth rate models for BCC copper and niobium carbide were constructed using calculated thermodynamic driving forces in conjunction with classical theories for the homogeneous nucleation and subsequent growth of coherent, spherical precipitates. The maximum calculated nucleation and growth rates for niobium carbide were found to be 1.0 &times; 10<super>6</super> nuclei/cm<super>3</super>s at 666&deg;C and 1.0 nm/s at 836&deg;C, respectively, for an austenitizing temperature of 1170&deg;C. For BCC copper in ferrite, the maximum calculated nucleation and growth rates were determined to be 8.0 &times; 10<super>15</super> nuclei/cm<super> 3</super>s at 612&deg;C and 0.038 nm/s at 682&deg;C, respectively, for all austenitizing temperatures. Three-dimensional atom probe (3DAP) microscopy revealed the presence of nano-scale BCC copper clusters in approximately the same number density predicted by the theoretical nucleation model. Using an experimentally determined &ldquo;effective&rdquo; activation energy for copper in iron, the normalized theoretical nucleation rate curve compared very well with the normalized hardness response after 5 minutes of aging and effectively described the experimental short-time aging behavior of a low carbon, niobium bearing steel. The size and morphological evolution as well as the growth and coarsening behavior of copper precipitates were investigated through conventional TEM during isothermal direct aging at 550&deg;C for a niobium and niobium-free steel. Although niobium carbide precipitation was not characterized, niobium additions provided increased hardness upon direct aging and showed a much higher resistance to overaging, than a niobium-free steel, for long isothermal aging times. In both steels for aging times up to five hours, both 9R type and BCC copper precipitates were present within the ferrite matrix and the average precipitate size scaled with a time dependence of <italic>t</italic><super> &half;</super>, indicative of diffusion controlled growth. For aging times between 5 and 20 hours, only 9R precipitates were observed with a kinetic exponent of t<super>0.28</super>, representative of a coarsening process.
  Series Issue (up) ISSN Northwestern University  
Medium Ph.D. thesis
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