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Acta Metall Sin  2016, Vol. 52 Issue (10): 1326-1332    DOI: 10.11900/0412.1961.2016.00341
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Feng LIU(),Kang WANG
State Key Laboratory of Solidification Processing, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710072, China
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Thermo-mechanical control process (TMCP) plays a key role in the manufacturing of hot-rolled low-alloy steels, as well as the optimization of microstructures and properties. However, the various phase transformations involved in the TMCP of steels and its impact on the microstructures/properties are still not fully understood. In the present work, on the basis of classical theories of phase transformations and previous experimental results, the key parameters controlling the phase transformation processes are analyzed, from which the correlation between thermodynamics and kinetics of the phase transformations are proposed; then, this correlation in the phase transformations of low-alloy steels and its effect on the competing mechanisms of transformations are analyzed; based on well-established theories (i.e. the first-principles calculations and the double well potential in phase field methods), the energetics of the Bain path of Na and the fcc/bcc transformation of Fe are calculated to demonstrate the correlation between thermodynamics and kinetics. Eventually, the current work is summarized and the potential applications of the correlation between thermodynamics and kinetics of phase transformations are proposed.

Key words:  low-alloy steel      phase transformation      thermodynamics      kinetics      correlation     
Received:  01 August 2016     
Fund: Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.51431008) and Research Fund of the State Key Laboratory of Solidification Processing (No.117-TZ-2015)

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Fig.1  The martensitic microstructure of the continuously cooled Fe-0.2C-1Mn-1Si low-alloy steel after isothermal holding at 1050 ℃ for 5 min, then cooled to room-temperature with the cooling rates of 80 ℃/s (a), 120 ℃/s (b) and 150 ℃/s (c)
Fig.2  The effect of volume on the energetics of Bain path of Na (c—the lattice constant along the c-axis of the bct cell, a—the lattice constant along the a-axis of the bct cell, V—the volume of Na in the calculation, V0—the equilibrium volme)
(a) the minimum energy path of Bain path under various volumes
(b) the variations of thermodynamic driving force and kinetic barrier of the Bain path with changing volume
Fig.3  The change of free energy profile with temperature during the fcc/bcc transformation of Fe estimated using the double-well potential in phase filed method
(a) the change of free energy with order parameter
(b) the variations of thermodynamic driving force and kinetic barrier with changing temperature
Fig.4  The logical loop integrating the processing conditions, phase transformation theories and microstructure/properties for quantitative designing of the TMCP route (TMCP—thermo-mechanical control process)
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