This paper deals with a comparison between the standard spring steel grade 0.54C-1.45Si-0.7Mn-0.7Cr and a grade micro-alloyed spring steel with 0.12 % V in terms of microstructure, grain refinement, strength and ductile properties. The micro-alloyed steel is supposed to provide a better performance as it had been proven for hot-rolled and heat treated wire. The vanadium micro-alloyed steel grades are quenched in oil typically, so high strengths and high ductility can be expected. It has been confirmed especially for induction heat treatment and quenching temperatures 810 - 910 °C, and the tempering temperatures 430 °C and 450 °C. That phenomenon can be explained with the strengthening effect and precipitation of vanadium carbides that suppress the grain coarsening effectively. The mechanism has been confirmed with electron scanning and transmission microscopy.Keywords: Spring steel, micro-alloying, vanadium carbides, precipitates, plasticity
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