In-situ Neutron Diffraction and Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) are employed for the first time simultaneously in order to reveal the interaction between the austenite to ferrite phase transformation and the precipitation kinetics during isothermal annealing at 650 and at 700 °C in three steels with different vanadium (V) and carbon (C) concentrations. Austenite-to-ferrite phase transformation is observed in all three steels at both temperatures. The phase transformation is completed during a 10 h annealing treatment in all cases. The phase transformation is faster at 650 than at 700 °C for all alloys. Additions of vanadium and carbon to the steel composition cause a retardation of the phase transformation. The effect of each element is explained through its contribution to the Gibbs free energy dissipation. The austenite-to-ferrite phase transformation is found to initiate the vanadium carbide precipitation. Larger and fewer precipitates are detected at 700 than at 650 °C in all three steels, and a larger number density of precipitates is detected in the steel with higher concentrations of vanadium and carbon. After 10 h of annealing, the precipitated phase does not reach the equilibrium fraction as calculated by ThermoCalc. The external magnetic field applied during the experiments, necessary for the SANS measurements, causes a delay in the onset and time evolution of the austenite-to-ferrite phase transformation and consequently on the precipitation kinetics.
- In-situ measurements
- Neutron Diffraction
- Phase-transformation and precipitation kinetics
- Small-Angle Neutron Scattering
- Vanadium micro-alloyed steels