An Atomic Redistribution Study of the 440°C Ageing Kinetics in Maraging-300 Steel

Mӧssbauer spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and hardness measurements were used to investigate the atomic redistribution and phase transformation of solution-treated and 440°C aged Maraging-300 steel specimens. The ageing temperature that resulted in the best mechanical properties in this steel was 480ºC. At 440ºC, the formation of the precipitates that assure excellent mechanical properties of the maraging steel (Ni3Ti, Fe2Mo) was not expected. The results indicated that Mo and Ti redistribution was severe during the first hour of ageing. The mobility of the Ni atoms probably occurred during all stages of the ageing process, and the Co atoms remained close to Fe atomic sites. An irregular behaviour of the formation of paramagnetic phases containing iron was observed, and some evidence of the formation of these phases without Fe will be discussed. The formation of metastable phases was suggested and the possibility of austenite reversion was not discarded at this ageing temperature.