Microstructural Evolution of a Pearlitic Steel Subjected to Thermomechanical Processing

The microstructural alterations suffered during the process of drawing deformation and subsequent annealing of pearlitic steel wires, were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The deformed material showed the curling structure in cross section while, in the longitudinal section, the lamellae was aligned with the drawing direction. The microstructural characterization of deformed samples also allowed observing an interlamellar spacing reduction and the intermediate lamellae alignment process. After the heat treatment at 1000ºC for 5 min the microstructure was restored, however, few recrystallized grains were observed. The recovery was the dominant phenomenon, due to factors associated with curling structure that inhibited recrystallization.