The metallurgical characteristics and properties of bearing steel processed by ladle refining with vacuum argon deoxidation (VAD), with nonvacuum argon stirring (AS), and with electroslag remelting (ESR) are reported in this paper. Based on analysis, determination of nonmetallic inclusions in steel, and fatigue life test of steel products, the main results obtained are as follows: (1) due to low oxygen content, fine dispersion, improved characteristic and morphology of inclusions, and elimination of D-type inclusions in steel, the fatigue life of electric furnace (EF) + VAD or AS steel is twice as high as that of EF steel; (2) although the amount of inclusion and oxygen in ESR steel is higher than that of ladle-refined steel, the fatigue life of ESR steel is higher than the latter because of its fine and well dispersed inclusion.
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