By combining simulated local heating and cooling rates with a regression analysis generated from a database of Continuous Cooling Transformation (CCT) diagrams for hundreds of steel grades, the distribution of the martensite, bainite, ferrite and pearlite microstructures in the casting after quenching can be calculated. It is the combination of these microstructural components, and the changes they undergo during tempering, that determines the distribution of properties such as hardness, yield and tensile strength or elongation in the heat treated casting. Here, the optimized heat transfer data was used for multiple heat treatment simulations, providing insight into which hardness and elongation distributions could be expected with different alloying and different tempering processes. The predicted values were later found to be in good agreement with experimental values for actual parts and corresponding test blocks.
Characterizing the properties of cast steel component goes beyond solidification and shrink.