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Determination of the Chemical Compositions of Fine titanium Carbide and Niobium Carbide Precipitates in Isothermally Aged Ferritic Steel by Atom Probe Tomography Analysis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 December 2020

Yukiko Kobayashi*
Affiliation:
Advanced Technology Research Labs., Nippon Steel Corporation, 20-1 Shintomi, Futtsu, Chiba293-8511, Japan Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba305-8577, Japan
Jun Takahashi
Affiliation:
Advanced Technology Research Labs., Nippon Steel Corporation, 20-1 Shintomi, Futtsu, Chiba293-8511, Japan
Kazuto Kawakami
Affiliation:
Nippon Steel Technology Co., Ltd., 20-1 Shintomi, Futtsu, Chiba293-0011, Japan
Kazuhiro Hono
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba305-8577, Japan National Institute for Materials Science, 1-2-1 Sengen, Tsukuba305-0047, Japan
*
*Author for correspondence: Yukiko Kobayashi, E-mail: kobayashi.yf6.yukiko@jp.nipponsteel.com

Abstract

The carbon (C) ratios, namely the atomic ratios of C/(C + M), in nano-sized coherent MC precipitates (M = Ti, Nb) with the NaCl-type (B1) structure in ferritic steels, which had been isothermally aged at 580 °C, were investigated using atom probe tomography (APT). Considering the influences of the trajectory aberration, detection loss, and peak overlap, we determined the C ratios to be ~0.40 and ~0.45 for an equivalent volume diameter of 1.5–5 nm and 1–5 nm for the TiC and NbC precipitates, respectively, suggesting that there is a considerable fraction of C vacancies in both nano-sized precipitates. The apparent C ratios show significant scatter with decreasing particle size, while the apparent mean C ratios of very fine TiC particles, smaller than 1.5 nm, decreased with decreasing particle size. With the use of one of the latest APT instruments with a high detection efficiency, the scattering in the apparent C ratios was reduced because the counting statistics were improved; however, the artificial enrichment of C atoms to particular crystallographic directions of ferrite hindered the determination of the C ratio for very fine TiC particles smaller than 1.5 nm.

Type
Materials Science Applications
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Microscopy Society of America

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Determination of the Chemical Compositions of Fine titanium Carbide and Niobium Carbide Precipitates in Isothermally Aged Ferritic Steel by Atom Probe Tomography Analysis
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