Uncovering temperature-tempted coordination of inclusions within ultra-high-strength-steel via in-situ spectro-microscopy
Rani, Ekta; Singh, Harishchandra; Alatarvas, Tuomas; Kharbach, Mourad; Cao, Wei; Sarpi, Brice; Zhu, Lin; Niu, Yuran; Zakharov, Alexei; Fabritius, Timo; Huttula, Marko (2022-02-07)
Rani, E., Singh, H., Alatarvas, T., Kharbach, M., Cao, W., Sarpi, B., Zhu, L., Niu, Y., Zakharov, A., Fabritius, T., & Huttula, M. (2022). Uncovering temperature-tempted coordination of inclusions within ultra-high-strength-steel via in-situ spectro-microscopy. Journal of Materials Research and Technology, 17, 2333–2342. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmrt.2022.01.170
© 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Despite the common challenge of investigating non-metallic inclusions within ultra-high-strength-steel (UHSS) at sub-micrometer scale via conventional methods, probing nitride inclusions at elevated temperatures is vital for guiding steel’ performance. Herein, an in-situ spectro-microscopic determination using advanced Synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) coupled with photoelectron emission microscopy (PEEM) is employed to explore the local structure and electronic properties of selective h-boron nitride (h-BN) containing inclusions (A1 and A2) embedded within steel matrix. While the variation in the relative intensity of π∗/σ∗ excitonic peaks at spatially different locations refers to the polarization and or thickness effects. Several minute features observed in the 192–195 eV energy range show oxygen (O) substituted nitrogen (N) defects (ON,2N,3N), which are more dominant in A2 inclusion. The observed dominance further explains the relatively high intense π∗ peak in A2 due to increased localization. Weak shoulder on the left side of π∗ peak in both room and high-temperature XAS spectra is ascribed to the interaction between h-BN and the local environment, such as Ca-based inclusion or steel matrix. Defects are commonly found in h-BN, and precise identification of the same is vital as they affect the overall physical, chemical, and mechanical properties. Moreover, significant changes in high-temperature B K-edge XAS spectra, such as relative intensity of π∗/σ∗ excitonic peaks at the same location and reduced intensity of defects, suggest the adjusting nature of BN inclusion, complicating their precise prediction and control towards clean steel production.
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