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Acta Metall Sin  2020, Vol. 56 Issue (4): 661-672    DOI: 10.11900/0412.1961.2019.00374
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TiC Precipitation Behavior and Its Effect on Abrasion Resistance of High Titanium Wear-Resistant Steel
SUN Xinjun(),LIU Luojin,LIANG Xiaokai,XU Shuai,YONG Qilong
Department of Structrual Steels, Central Iron & Steel Research Institute, Beijing 100081, China
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In general, the wear resistance of traditional low alloy wear-resistant steels can be improved by increasing the hardness of steel matrix, but this significantly deteriorates the processing properties of steel, such as weldability, formability and machinability. Therefore, how to improve the wear resistance of steels without increasing the hardness has become an important issue for the study of wear-resistant steels in recent years. In this work, it is prosposed to introduce ultra-hard TiC particles into the matrix of steel by means of high-Ti microalloying and in situ reaction of TiC in billets (ingots), so as to achieve a significant increase in the wear resistance without increasing the hardness. Seven tested steels with different Ti and C contents were firstly fabricated by smelting, hot rolling and heat treatment, then the morphology, size distribution and fraction of precipitates were characterized by means of OM, SEM, EPMA, TEM, physical-chemical phase analysis, etc. Finally, the wear resistance and its mechanisms of the tested steels were investigated. The results show that TiC particles in the tested steels exhibit an unique trimodal distribution characteristic of "micron-submicron-nanometer". The micron-sized TiC particles were originated from the eutectic reaction of L→γ+TiC occuring at the end of solidification; the eutectic TiC was broken up into small fragments and homogenized gradually during the subsequent hot rolling. The submicron-sized particles were mainly precipitated from austenite at relatively high temperature after solidification, and the nano-sized particles were mainly precipitated from deformed austenite at relatively low temperature during hot rolling. The size of precipitates becomes finer at lower precipitation temperature. The relative precipitation-temperature-time (PTT) diagrams of both submicron-sized and nano-sized TiC were calculated, and it is shown that the most rapid precipitation temperature of the submicron-sized TiC is about 208 ℃ higher than that of the nano-sized TiC. The relative wear resistance of the tested steels is found to increase linearly with increasing TiC fraction, and the improvement of wear resistance is mainly due to the obstruction of micron-sized particles on wear furrow.

Key words:  wear-resistant steel      high-Ti microalloying      TiC precipitation      abrasion resistance     
Received:  04 November 2019     
ZTFLH:  TG142  
Fund: National Key Research and Development Program of China(2017YFB0305100)
Corresponding Authors:  Xinjun SUN     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

SUN Xinjun,LIU Luojin,LIANG Xiaokai,XU Shuai,YONG Qilong. TiC Precipitation Behavior and Its Effect on Abrasion Resistance of High Titanium Wear-Resistant Steel. Acta Metall Sin, 2020, 56(4): 661-672.

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Table 1  Chemical compositions of tested steels
Fig.1  Hot rolling and heat treatment process of tested steels
Fig.2  Schematic of MLS-225 wear test machine
Fig.3  SEM (a~c) and TEM images (d, e) of matrix microstructure of tested steels(a) Ti0 (b) Ti20 (c) Ti60(d) Ti0 (e) Ti20
Fig.4  XRD spectra of precipitate powder obtained by electrolytic extraction of tested steels


Total Ti

Mass fraction of precipitate

Volme fraction of MC

Table 2  Phsical-chemical phase analysis results of tested steels
Fig.5  OM images of micron-sized TiC precipitates in Ti60 steel(a) without etching (The dark particles are TiC)(b) etched by Lepera' etchant (The bright particles are TiC)
Fig.6  SEM image of micron-sized TiC precipitates in Ti60 steel
Fig.7  EPMA element maps of micron-sized TiC precipitates in Ti60 steelColor online
Fig.8  EPMA (a) and TEM (b) images of submicron-sized TiC particles in Ti60 steel
Fig.9  TEM image of nano-sized TiC particles in Ti60 steel
Fig.10  TiC particle diameter distributions of Ti60 steel measured by quantitative metallography (a), measured by SAXS (b) and full-scale distribution of particle diameter showing trimodal distribution of "micron-submicron-nanometer" (c)
Fig.11  OM images of as-cast Ti60 steel(a) as-cast secondary dendritic structure (b) TiC precipitated between secondary dendrites
Fig.12  Thermo-Calc thermodynamic calculation of solidification process of Ti60 steel(a) phase tansformations during solidification(b) local magnification of Fig.12a from 1420 ℃ to 1470 ℃
Fig.13  SEM (a~c) and TEM (d~f) images of TiC particles of Ti60 steel quenched at 900 ℃ (a, d) and subsequently subjected to solution treatment at 1200 ℃ (b, e) and 1350 ℃ (c, f)
Fig.14  TiC particle size distribution (0~300 nm) of Ti60 steel subjected to solution treatments at different temperatures
Fig.15  Relative precipitaton-time-temperature (PTT) diagram of TiC precipitates (t0.05da is the start time of precipitation which corresponds to the fraction precipitated 5%, and t0da is an almost temperature independent parameter)
Fig.16  Relationships of hardness (a), wear weight loss (b) and relative wear resistance (c) with mass fraction of TiC particles
Fig.17  Obstruction of micron-sized TiC particles marked by circles on wear furrow passage through stopping the furrow (a), deflecting the furrow (b) and stopping the furrow with particle falling off (c)[5,7] (Insets show the EDS analysis results on the TiC particles marked by circles)
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