Effect of plastic processing and controlled cooling on microstructure and mechanical properties of experimental steel grades with microalloyed with Ti, V and/or Nb, varying in the content of Mo is presented as an offer for mining industry for replacement traditionally heat-treatable hardenability grades. The goal of the work is producing microstructure condition, which after controlled hot forging and direct heat treatment, involving quenching and self-tempering, are meant to provide good combination of mechanical properties, such as TYS 800 MPa, UTS 1050 MPa, elongation to fracture at least A5 15% and/or impact strength at room temperature KCV 60 J/cm2. Hardenability assessment and dilatometric examination allowed formulation of direct heat treatment guidelines, taking into consideration fields of temperature and strain in a typical hot forging process, estimated numerically, with the use of plastometric tests results, as well as the use of unique cooling cycles after forging.
On the basis of numerical analysis of thermomechanical parameters and temperature progression, hot forging and direct cooling conditions were selected to achieve assumed structural components, morphology and dispersion of both grain and precipitates. For established heat transfer model and experimentally plotted cooling curves numerical analysis of direct cooling, enabled by definition of characteristic points of austenite transformation and CCT diagrams was conducted. The modeling aided with dilatometric characterization enabled prediction of transformation products distribution. The formulated conclusions were verified in the experimental sampling of forging, evaluating the applicability of designed combinations of chemical composition and cooling cycle for selected forged part for mining industry.