Quantitative X-ray diffraction analysis of development of Z phase in 12%Cr–Nb–V–N steel

P. E. Di Nunzio, L. Cipolla, S. Tiberi Vipraio, S. Martelli, Marcel A. J. Somers

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To study the evolution of nitrides (Nb,V)N, (V,Nb)N and Cr2N, and in particular the formation of the Z phase Cr(V,Nb)N, a model alloy with composition similar to that of 12%Cr steels for high temperature applications, microalloyed with Nb and V but with a very low carbon content, has been designed. A quantitative determination of the volume fractions of the extracted nitrides that had formed after aging treatments at 650uC for up to 10 000 h was carried out by an X-ray diffraction procedure, based on the Rietveld approach. The investigation of the Z phase evolution by the Johnson–Mehl–Avrami–Kolmogorov kinetics at 650 and 700uC revealed that, as the kinetic exponent is very close to unity, the formation mechanism of this phase is not associated with a conventional process of nucleation but hints at a gradual diffusion controlled transformation of the pre-existing V and Nb nitrides.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMaterials Science and Technology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1423-1428
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Z phase
  • Kinetics
  • Aging
  • Rietveld method
  • X-ray diffraction


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