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The effect of Cu on phase transformation kinetics in low-carbon steels Dilney, Shaun

Abstract

The production of steel through recycling is a global industry dependent upon available scrap steel from a variety of sources including automobiles and steel structures. The constant recycling of steel has resulted in an increase in levels of residual elements, Sn, As, Cu, etc., that cannot be removed by economical means. To avoid processing difficulties associated with steel scrap containing high residuals electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmakers pay a high price for low residual scrap. The ability to process scrap containing high levels of residual elements, specifically Cu, would be very advantageous. In addition to the economic feasibility of processing scrap with high Cu content, there are also improvements in properties to be had by alloying with Cu. Currently, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels containing Cu are used for specific applications, e.g. shipbuilding, and pipelines in Arctic environments, due to their high strength and corrosion resistance as compared to ordinary HSLA steels. Processing of Cu-bearing steels to produce steel strip and plate requires extensive knowledge on the effect of Cu content, cooling rate, and austenite grain size will have on phase transformation kinetics, resulting microstructure, and mechanical properties. This work investigates the role that each of these variables plays in the processing of low-carbon steel strip and plate under simulated industrial conditions. Further, the role of Cu on phase transformation kinetics is investigated using semi-empirical and fundamentally based models.

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