This RFCS project aimed to develop a detailed understanding of evolution of microstructure and material properties, changes in internal stress/strain fields, flatness and squareness, during hot rectification and cooling of plates/sections.
The project has therefore addressed three primary aims/drivers:
- elimination of cold rectification processes for sections and plate products through optimisation of cooling and hot levelling processes;
- minimisation of hot levelling of plates where possible on selected grades through a detailed understanding of microstructure and material evolution during reverse bending (low cycle) and the development of regime maps for optimum hot leveller set-ups;
- minimisation of cold rectification for products where optimisation of cooling/hot rectification is not sufficient to achieve the level of required final properties.
The aims have been achieved by production trials and mechanical laboratory testing, multi-scale material modelling, development of a new coupled phase transformation and precipitation model, and state of the art characterisation and measurement methods.