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In-situ Observation of Retained Austenite and Residual Stress Evolutions during Tempering of carbonitrided DIN 1.6587 Alloy Steel

Richard J. Katemi
Jérémy Epp


This paper investigates the evolution of retained austenite and residual stresses during and after tempering of carbonitrided 18CrNiMo7-6 low alloy steel carried out using in-situ X-ray diffraction technique. In this case, two carbonitriding treatments with different surface the retained austenite contents of 20 and 54 mass.-% are investigated. The tempering is carried out in a continuous heating mode to 650°C as well as in isothermal mode at holding temperature of 170, 240, and 300°C for 2 hours. During continuous heating at a heating rate of 10°C/min, the retained austenite started to decompose at 290°C. On isothermal holding at 170°C for 2 hours, the retained austenite remained relatively stable at 20 and 54 mass.-% while readily decomposed to less than 5 mass-% on holding at 300°C. On continuous heating, residual stress in martensite continuously relaxes and reaches full relaxation (0 MPa) at about 400°C. During isothermal holding, residual stresses in martensite are increasingly relaxed with increasing holding tempering. Further relaxation of residual stresses is observed during cooling whereas a cyclic variation of the residual stresses in the retained austenite could be determined.

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eISSN: 2619-8789
print ISSN: 1821-536X