Structural Phase Transformation of Rail Steel in Compression

Aksenova, Krestina; Gromov, Victor; Ivanov, Yurii; Qin, Rongshan and Vashchuk, Ekaterina (2022). Structural Phase Transformation of Rail Steel in Compression. Metals, 12(11), article no. 1985.



The analysis of structure and defective substructure of rail steel in uniaxial compression to a degree of 50% is carried out. It is revealed that cold hardening has a multi-stage character and is accompanied by fragmentations of pearlite grains which is in field as the degree of deformation increases and reaches ≈ 0.4 volume of the foil studied at ε = 50%. The fragments being formed in ferrite plates are separated by low-angle boundaries. The average size of the fragmented ferrite decreases from 240 nm at ε = 15% to 200 nm at ε = 50%. Concurrently with the ferrite fragmentation, fragments of cementite are also observed. It is found that the sizes of the cementite fragments are in a range of 15 to 20 nm and depend weakly on the degree of sample deformation. The cementite fragmentation is caused by deformation-induced carbon dissolution and dislocation-induced fracture. The carbon atoms diffuse from cementite crystal to dislocations, which move through an interplanar space to form particles of tertiary cementite at nanoscale (2–4 nm). It is found that the increase in the degree of deformation is accompanied by a decrease in the scalar and an excess dislocation density. A physical interpretation of the observations has been given.

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