Optimisation of the Influence of Boron on the Properties of Steel


The aim of this ECSC project was to characterise and understand the role of boron in a range of steels. The improved precision of modern analytical methods means that measurements of the location, quantity and chemical state of boron can be made more readily. This should allow improved characterisation and understanding of the precise role of boron in a range of steels.

The purpose of the project was to use such methods to develop models, combining statistical and empirical approaches, for optimising and predicting its effects in three areas, namely:

  • influence of boron on austenite grain size during thermal and mechanical treatments;
  • influence of boron on the modification of hardenability in low alloy steels;
  • influence of boron in promoting coarse ferrite grain size, optimising ductility and minimising strain ageing in low carbon steels.

The work in this project was focused in the following areas:

  • compare the procedures and accuracy of the methods used for determining total and soluble boron content available at each of the steelmaking partners;
  • compare austenite grain size development in heat treated plain carbon and low alloy experimental steels with and without boron additions;
  • production of a neural network based model capable of predicting the influence of protected boron additions on the Jominy hardenability of low alloy heat treatable steels;
  • examine the effectiveness of unprotected boron additions in promoting acoarse ferrite grain size and optimising ductility in commercially produced low carbon steels used in wire rod applications and minimising strain ageing response in corresponding drawn wire products.
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