Development of Bimodal Grain Structures in Nb-Containing High-Strength Low-Alloy Steels during Slab Reheating

D Chakrabarti, Claire Davis, Martin Strangwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


Bimodal (mixed coarse and fine) grain structures, which have been observed in some Nb-containing thermomechanically-controlled rolled steel plates, adversely affect their mechanical properties by causing scatter in cleavage fracture stress values. It is known that bimodal grain structures can develop during reheating prior to rolling; however, no quantitative predictions of the level of bimodality or the critical reheat temperatures for formation have been reported. In this article, three high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel slabs with varying microalloying additions (Ti, Nb, and V) have been characterized in the as-continuously cast and reheated (to various temperatures in the range 1050 degrees C to 1225 degrees C) conditions to determine the link between their grain size distribution (and any bimodality observed) and the microalloy precipitate type, size, and distribution. The as-cast slabs showed inhomogeneous microalloying precipitate distributions with the separation between precipitate-rich and precipitate-poor regions being consistent with interdendritic segregation and hence, the secondary dendrite arm spacing (SDAS). The susceptibility of the slabs to the formation of bimodality, based on the steel chemical compositions and critical reheat temperature ranges has been identified, both experimentally and theoretically using ThermoCalc (Thermo-Calc Software, Stockholm, Sweden) modeling of precipitate stability in the solute-rich and the solute-depleted regions formed during casting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1963-1977
Number of pages15
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A
Issue number8
Early online date15 May 2008
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008


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