Sliding wear of medium-carbon bainitic/martensitic/austenitic steel treated by short-term low-temperature austempering

LUO, Quanshun, LI, Jianbin, YAN, Qintai, LI, Wenbo, GAO, Yubi, KITCHEN, Matthew, BOWEN, Leon, FARMILO, Nick and DING, Yutain (2021). Sliding wear of medium-carbon bainitic/martensitic/austenitic steel treated by short-term low-temperature austempering. Wear.

Luo-SlidingWearMedium-Carbon(AM).pdf - Accepted Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview
Official URL:
Link to published version::


A medium-carbon Si–Mn–Ni–Cr–Mo alloyed (300M) steel was austempered for various short periods at its martensite-starting temperature of 285 °C to seek improved sliding wear resistance as compared to the traditional martensitic and bainitic steels. Reciprocating sliding wear tests were performed against a WC/Co ball counterpart at a constant load of 49 N. The samples were characterised using field emission SEM, XRD and hardness testing. The associated wear mechanisms were analysed using SEM and cross-sectional TEM. The results revealed that a short austempering time of 6 min produced refined arrays of initial nano-bainitic ferrite laths and inter-lath filmy austenite and the majority martensite and retained austenite, while the majority of the microstructure remained martensitic with retained austenite. The hardness was unchanged to that of the as-quenched martensite of 6.4 GPa. Simultaneously the wear coefficient decreased by 41% from 2.67 to 1.58 × 10-15 m3N-1m-1, which is also superior to both the tempered martensite at 1.65 × 10-15 m3N-1m-1 and the lower bainite at 1.87 × 10-15 m3N-1m-1. Increasing the austempering time to 20 and 60 min resulted in wear coefficients of 1.38 and 2.18 × 10-15 m3N-1m-1, respectively. The improved wear resistance has been explained by the wear induced microstructure evolution, especially the carbon partitioning induced stabilisation of retained austenite. The high-stress sliding wear was found to be dominated by severe shear deformation, which resulted in a nano-laminate structured top layer. Delamination wear was found to take place within the embrittled nano-laminates.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Oral presentation & publication in 23rd International Conference on Wear of Materials, 26-28 April 2021
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2021 15:01
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2022 01:18

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics