Corrosion Resistance of The Bearing Steel 67SiMnCr6-6-4 with Nanobainitic Structure

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Abstract

The paper describes a comparative study of the corrosion resistance of bearing steel 67SiMnCr6-6-4 after two kinds of nanostructuring treatments and two kinds of conventional quenching and tempering treatments. The nanostructuring treatment consisted of austempering with an isothermal quenching at 240°C and 300°C. The conventional heat treatment consisted on quenching and tempering at 350°C for 1 h and quenching and tempering at 550°C for 1 h. Time and temperature of tempering was chosen so that the hardness of both samples (nanostructured as well as quenched and tempered) was similar. The microstructure of steel after each heat treatment was described with the use of transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was shown, that the austempering conducted at 240°C produced homogenous nanobainitic structure consisting of carbide-free bainite plates with nanometric thickness separated by the layers of retained austenite. The austempering at 300°C produced a sub-micrometric carbide-free bainite with retained austenite in form of layers and small blocks. The conventional heat treatments led to a tempered martensite microstructure. The corrosion resistance study was carried out in Na2SO4 acidic and neutral environment using potentiodynamic and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) methods. The corrosion resistance of nanostructured steel samples were compared to the steel samples with tempered martensite. The obtained results indicate, that the corrosion resistance of bearing steel with nanobainitic structure is similar to steel with tempered martensite in both acidic and neutral environment. This means that the high density of intercrystalline boundaries in nanobinite does not deteriorate the corrosion properties of the bearing steel.

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Archives of Metallurgy and Materials

The Journal of Institute of Metallurgy and Materials Science and Commitee on Metallurgy of Polish Academy of Sciences

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