SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1968

Effect of Thermal and Thermomechanical Treatments on the Temper Embrittlement of Low-Alloy Steels


The effects of rapid heating and ausforming on the phenomenon of temper embrittlement were examined in two alloy martensitic steels (BS 970 En 30B and En 40C), and the results contrasted with those for conventionally treated material. Standard Charpy V-notch impact tests and tensile data were supplemented by plane strain fracture toughness (KIc) measurements. A deailed structural and fractographic examination was carried out in order to correlate the microstructural changes with the mechanical properties. The results are discussed in the light of current theories. The experimental results indicate that several mechanisms can be responsible for temper embrittlement. A tentative model is proposed to explain the temper embrittlement trough observed in low-alloy steels, which is based on a combination of two mechanisms involving coarse carbide precipitation and high dislocation density resulting from dislocation pinning.

Author Information

Irani, J., J.
, Sheffield, England
May, M., J.
, Sheffield, England
Elliott, D.
, Sheffield, England
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Developed by Committee: A01
Pages: 168–202
DOI: 10.1520/STP46480S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-6804-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-6628-8