The Effect of the Production Process and Heat Processing Parameters on the Fatigue Strength of High-Grade Medium-Carbon Steel
The experimental material consisted of semi-finished products of high-grade, medium-carbon constructional steel with: manganese, chromium, nickel, molybdenum and boron. The experimental material consisted of steel products obtained in three metallurgical processes: electric and desulfurized (E), electric and desulfurized with argon-refined (EA) and oxygen converter with vacuum degassed of steel (KP). The production process involved two melting technologies: in a 140-ton basic arc furnace with desulphurisation and argon refining variants, and in a 100-ton oxygen converter. Billet samples were collected to analyze: relative volume of impurities, microstructure and fatigue tests. The samples were quenched and austenitized at a temperature of 880°C for 30 minutes. They were then cooled in water and tempered by holding the sections at a temperature of 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600°C for 120 minutes and air-cooled. Fatigue tests were performed with the use of a rotary bending machine at a frequency of 6000 cpm. The results were statistical processed and presented in graphic form. This paper discusses the results of microstructural analyses, the distribution of the relative volume of impurities in different size ranges, the fatigue strength characteristics of different production processes, the average number of sample-damaging cycles and the average values of the fatigue strength coefficient for various heat processing options.