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Experimental and numerical modeling of the dissolution of delta ferrite in the Fe-Cr-Ni system : application to the austenitic stainless steels

Abstract : Residual δ-ferrite is widely encountered in the as-cast microstructure of austenitic stainless steels. It stems from the incomplete high temperature solid-state δ→γ transformation occurring upon the solidification stage. Its presence has a detrimental effect the hot workability of stainless steels, leading to the formation of edge cracks and sliver defects during slabs hot rolling. This PhD work aims at bringing more understanding of the kinetics of high temperature δ→γ transformation in austenitic stainless steels via experimental and numerical modeling. The transformation was studied in a ternary Fe-Cr-Ni ingot-cast alloy with composition close to the industrial alloys. Three ferrite morphologies were identified: lathy at the edge of the ingot, vermicular and lathy at the center. Their dissolution kinetics were established at temperatures ranging from 1140°C to 1340°C and characterized in terms of ferrite fraction and Cr and Ni diffusion. The vermicular ferrite undergoes a transient growth followed by a high then a low rate dissolution regimes. On the other hand, ferrite dissolution was also studied in the multilayered microstructures. such microstructures were elaborated by alternating ferrite and austenite sheets of the Fe-Cr-Ni system, diffusion-bonded by Hot isostatic Pressing and reduced in thickness by successive rollings. Dissolution is easier to handle in such microstructures thanks to the initial planar δ/γ interfaces. Analysis of the experimental results were carried out with a numerical moving-boundary model of diffusion-controlled δ→γ transformation. Diffusion can be treated in the planar, cylindrical and spherical geometries. As a preliminary validation, the model was used to analyze kinetics of ferrite dissolution in the multilayered microstructures. It was then applied to the cast alloy using an original descriptive approach combining spheres and cylinders as equivalent morphology of dendritic ferrite. Although based on simplifying assumptions, the model was able to reproduce experimental results with satisfactory agreement. Mechanisms underlying the initial growth of vermicular ferrite and the transition in dissolution regimes were outlined. The effect of a wide range of input parameters has been considered and relevant parameters for quantitative calculations were brought to light, such as thermodynamical descriptions of the Fe-Cr-Ni system, composition gradients and distribution of ferrite's radii.
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Mahmoud Saied. Experimental and numerical modeling of the dissolution of delta ferrite in the Fe-Cr-Ni system : application to the austenitic stainless steels. Materials. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016GREAI016⟩. ⟨tel-01337983⟩

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