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Erosive-abrasive wear behavior of carbide-free bainitic and boron steels compared in simulated field conditions

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology
Issue number1
Early online date24 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The wear resistance of carbide-free bainitic microstructures have recently shown to be excellent in sliding, sliding-rolling, and erosive-abrasive wear. Boron steels are often an economically favorable alternative for similar applications. In this study, the erosive-abrasive wear performance of the carbide-free bainitic and boron steels with different heat treatments was studied in mining-related conditions. The aim was to compare these steels and to study the microstructural features affecting wear rates. The mining-related condition was simulated with an application oriented wear test method utilizing dry abrasive bed of 8–10 mm granite particles. Different wear mechanisms were found; in boron steels, micro-cutting and micro-ploughing were dominating mechanisms, while in the carbide-free bainitic steels, also impact craters with thin platelets were observed. Moreover, the carbide-free bainitic steels had better wear performance, which can be explained by the different microstructure. The carbide-free bainitic steels had fine ferritic-austenitic microstructure, whereas in boron steels microstructure was martensitic. The level of retained austenite was quite high in the carbide-free bainitic steels and that was one of the factors improving the wear performance of these steels. The hardness gradients with orientation of the deformation zone on the wear surfaces were one of the main affecting factors as well. Smoother work hardened hardness profiles were considered beneficial in these erosive-abrasive wear conditions.


  • abrasive wear, carbide free bainitic, erosive wear, field test, microstructure, Steel

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