Decomposition of γ-Fe in 0.4C-1.8Si-2.8Mn-0.5Al steel during a continuous cooling process: A comparative study using in-situ HT-LSCM, DSC and dilatometry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


  • Man Liu
  • Monika Kawulokova
  • Josef Walek
  • Simona Zla
  • Bedřich Smetana
  • Marketa Tkadleckova
  • Guang Xu
  • Youn-Bae Kang

Organisational units

External Organisational units

  • The State Key Laboratory of Refractories and Metallurgy
  • Department of Thermal Engineering
  • Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Continuous cooling transformation (CCT) diagrams represent roadmaps for producing all heat-treatable steels. CCT curves provide valuable information on the solid-state phase transformation sequence, depending on the defined cooling strategies, the alloying concept of the steel and previous processing steps. The experimental characterization of CCT diagrams is usually done on a laboratory scale applying thermal analysis of dilatometry. In current research studies, however, also other in-situ methods such as high-temperature laser scanning confocal microscopy (HT-LSCM) or differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) are frequently used to investigate phase transformations during thermal cycling. In the present study, HT-LSCM observations and DSC analysis are critically compared with dilatometry results by investigating the CCT diagram of a 0.4%C-1.8%Si-2.8%Mn-0.5%Al (in mass pct.) advanced steel grade. Furthermore, classical examinations by optical microscopy and hardness measurements were performed to support the analysis. In general, very good consistencies between all experimental techniques were identified in determining the transformation start temperature for pearlite, bainite and martensite. The optical microscopy confirmed the observed phase transformations and the results correlated with the measured hardness response. Based on the results, coupling of HT-LSCM and DSC is considered as a valuable novel approach to plot CCT diagrams in future research.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3534-3547
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Materials Research and Technology
Issue numberMay-June
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2023