Microstructure of Z-Phase Strengthened Martensitic Steels
Meeting the 650°C Challenge
We studied three series of Z-phase strengthened steels using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and atom probe tomography to reveal the detailed microstructure of these steels. In particular, the phase transformation from M(C,N) to Z-phase (CrMN) was studied. Carbon content in the steels is the governing factor in this transformation. The impact toughness of some test alloys was rather low. This is attributed to the formation of a continuous W-rich film along prior austenite grain boundaries. Cu and C addition to the test alloys changed Laves phase morphology to discrete precipitates and improved toughness dramatically. BN particles were found in some steels. Formation of BN is directly linked to the B concentration in the steels.