In the present study, direct-quenched steel with and without tempering at 600 °C has been studied in order to evaluate the possibilities of widening the range of strengths that can be produced from a single base composition. Microstructural studies of direct-quenched (DQ) and direct-quenched and tempered (DQT) steels showed that, in both cases, the microstructure consisted of mainly bainite formed from highly pancaked prior austenite grains, the main difference being a larger carbide size in the tempered condition. The results show that steels with minimum specified yield stresses of 900 and 960 MPa with good impact toughness and bendability properties can be produced from a single composition by employing respectively DQ and DQT processing. After tempering impact toughness and bendability was even better.Keywords: bainite, bendability, direct quenching, ductility, tempering
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