The forging industry seeks ways to improve mechanical properties of forged parts without using costly alloyed steels or complicated and time-consuming post-forge heat treatment. One of the available options is Q&P processing (Quenching and Partitioning) of advanced high-strength martensitic steels. The Q&P process is characterized by rapid cooling from the soaking temperature to a quenching temperature which is between the Ms and the Mf, and subsequent reheating to and holding at a partitioning temperature. Strength levels of more than 2000 MPa and elongation above 10 % can be obtained. Since the quench needs to be interrupted between the Ms and the Mf, new alloying strategies are being developed in order to depress the Mf below 100°C. With such steels, plain quenchants could be used, including boiling water.Using material-technological modelling, several heat treatment routes involving various cooling profiles were tested on three high-strength 2.5 % Mn steels with different Ni and Mo levels. The data for constructing the first model were acquired from a real-world treatment of a forged part. Quenching the forged part in boiling water and subsequent partitioning led to a strength of 2130 MPa and elongation of 12 %. Metallographic examination and measurement of mechanical properties were carried out on the experimental steels after the treatments.Keywords: closed-die forgings, Q&P process, retained austenite, material-technological modelling
© This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.