Influences of C, Si and Mn on the wear resistance of coiled tubing steel

YQ Tang and DY Li, WEAR, 524, 204854 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.wear.2023.204854

Coiled tubing steels of different grades with close compositions and similar microstructures may have a large difference in wear performance. Although contents of alloying elements, e.g., C, Si and Mn, in the steels are low, slightly adjusting their concentrations could markedly modify the wear resistance of the coiled tubing steel. In this work, atomic simulations were carried out to understand influences of the minor elements on the wear resistance of coiled tubing steel. Molecular dynamics simulations were conducted to study the wear behavior of steels with different contents of the elements, and first-principles calculations were implemented to investigate influences of the elements on atomic bonding based on their electronic properties. It is demonstrated that interstitial C atoms increase the local lattice size, and their bonding to Fe atoms shows hybrid covalent and ionic characteristics. Substitutional Mn atoms weaken the overall metallic bond but enhance the surrounding electron localizations; and substitutional Si atoms decrease local lattice size and are covalently bonded to surrounding Fe atoms. Corresponding changes in the electronic states caused by the elements strongly affect the atomic bonding. The three alloying elements have different solid-solution strengthening mechanisms, and their synergy strongly affects the wear resistance of the steel. The revealed mechanisms would help selecting and adjusting alloying elements to enhance the wear resistance of coiled tubing steels.

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