Title of Invention

"A HOT ROLLED STEEL SHEET"

Abstract A hot rolled steel sheet having a BH amount of 50 MPa or more, a tensile strength of 370 to 490 MPa, and a hole expanding ratio of 90% or more, the hot rolled steel sheet comprising: in terms of percent by mass, C of 0.01 to 0.2%; Si of 0.01 to 2%; Mn of 0.1 to 2%; P of &#8804;0.1%; S of &#8804;0.03%; Al of 0.001 to 0.1%; and N of <0.01%; optionally comprising, one or more selected from B of 0.0002 to 0.002%, Cu of 0.2 to 1.2%, Ni of 0.1 to 0.6%, Mo of 0.05 to 1%, V of 0.02 to 0.2%, and Cr of 0.01 to 1%; further optionally comprising, one or two of Ca of 0.0005 to 0.005%, and rare earth metal of 0.0005 to 0.02%; and as a remainder, Fe and unavoidable impurities, wherein the rare earth metal is one or more selected from Sc, Y and lanthanides consisting of La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu, a microstructure consists of a homogeneous continuous-cooled microstructure and polygonal ferrite (PF) in an amount of 0% or more to 20% or less, the continuous-cooled microstructure consists of bainitic ferrite (&#61537;°B), granular bainitic ferrite (&#61537;B), quasi-polygonal ferrite (&#945;q), residual austenite (&#61543;r), martensite-austenite (MA), the total amount of residual austenite (&#61543;r) and martensite-austenite (MA) is 3% or less, and an average crystal grain size of the microstructure is greater than 8: urn and 30 µm or less.
Full Text DESCRIPTION HOT ROLLED STEEL SHEET AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME
TECHNICAL FIELD
The present invention relates to a hot rolled steel sheet having bake hardenability (BH) and stretch flangability, and a method for manufacturing the same.
The present application claims priority on Japanese Patent Application No. 2003-314590, filed on September 5,2003, the content of which is incorporated herein by reference.
BACKGROUND ART
The use of light metals such as aluminum (Al) alloy and high-strength steel sheets for automobile members has recently been promoted for the purpose of reducing weight in order to improve automobile fuel consumption. The light metals such as Al alloy offer the advantage of high specific strength; however, since they are much more expensive than steel, their applications are limited to special applications. Thus, there is a need to increase the strength of steel sheet to promote cost decreases and automobile weight reductions over a wider range.
Since increasing the strength of a material typically causes deterioration of moldability (processability) and other material characteristics, the key to developing high-strength steel sheet is the extent to which strength can be increased without deteriorating material characteristics. Since characteristics such as stretch flangability, ductility, fatigue durability and corrosion resistance are important characteristics that are required of steel sheet used for inner plate members, structural members and underbody members, and how effectively these characteristics can be balanced with high strength on a high order is important.
For example, Japanese Unexamined Patent Applications, First Publication Nos. 2000-169935 and 2000-169936 disclose transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) steel in which moldability (ductility and deep drawability) are dramatically improved as a result causing the occurrence of TRIP phenomenon during molding by containing residual austenite in the microstructure of the steel in order to achieve both high strength and various advantageous characteristics, especially moldability.
Steel sheet obtained in this art demonstrates breaking elongation in excess of 35% and superior deep drawability (limiting drawing ratio (LDR)) due to the occurrence of TRIP phenomenon by the residual austenite at a strength level of about 590 MPa. However, amounts of elements such as C, Si and Mn must inevitably be reduced in order to obtain steel sheet having strength within the range of 370 to 540 MPa, and when the amounts of elements such as C, Si and Mn are reduced to realize the strength within the range of 370 to 540 MPa, there is the problem of being unable to maintain amount of residual austenite required for obtaining TRIP phenomenon in the microstructure at room temperature. In addition, the emphasis of the above art is not placed on improving stretch flangability. Thus, it is difficult to apply high-strength steel sheet having strength of 540 MPa or higher to a member in which steel sheet having strength on the order of 270 to 340 MPa is currently used, without first improving operations and equipment used during pressing. The only realistic solution for the time being is to use steel sheet having strength of about 370 to 490 MPa. On the other hand, requirement for reduction of gauges is increasing year by year in order to achieve reduction in weight for automobile body, and it is therefore important for reduction in weight for automobile body to maintain pressed product strength as much as possible, based on the premise of reducing gauges.

Bake-hardening (BH) steel sheet has been proposed as a way of solving these problems because it has low strength during press molding and improves the strength of pressed products as a result of introducing stress due to pressing and subsequent baking finish treatment.
It is effective to increase solute C and solute N so as to improve bake hardenability; however, increases in these solute elements present in the solid solution worsen aging deterioration at normal temperatures. Consequently, it is important to develop a technology that can allow both bake hardenability and resistance to aging deterioration at normal temperatures.
On the basis of the requirements described above, Japanese Unexamined Patent Applications, First Publication Nos. H10-183301 and 2000-297350 disclose technologies for realizing both bake hardenability and resistance to aging deterioration at normal temperatures, in which bake hardenability is improved by increasing the amount of solute N, and the diffusion of solute C and solute N at normal temperatures is inhibited by an effect of increasing gram boundary surface area caused by grain refining of crystal grains.
However, the grain refining of crystal grains has the risk of deteriorating press moldability, while the addition of solute N has the risk of causing aging deterioration. In addition, despite the need for superior stretch flangability in the case of applying to underbody members and inner plate parts, since the microstructure includes ferrite-pearlite having a average crystal grain size of 8 urn or less, it is unsuitable with respect to stretch flangability.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides a hot rolled steel sheet and a method for manufacturing the same, which has both bake hardenability and stretch flangability that

allow to obtain a stable BH amount of 50 MPa or more within a strength range of 370 to 490 MPa, together with superior stretch flangability. Namely, the present invention aims to provide a hot rolled steel sheet having both bake hardenability and stretch flangability, which has a uniform microstructure for realizing superior stretch flangability, and has bake hardenability that allows to manufacture pressed product having strength equivalent to that of the design strength in the case of applying 540 to 640 MPa-class steel sheet as a result of the introduction of pressing stress and baking finish treatment, even when the tensile strength of the hot rolled steel sheet is 370 to 490 MPa, and a method for manufacturing that steel sheet inexpensively and stably.
The inventors of the present invention conducted extensive research to obtain a steel sheet having superior bake hardenability and superior stretch flangability.
As a result, the inventors of the present invention newly found that, a steel sheet in which C = 0.01 to 0.2%, Si = 0.01 to 2%, Mn = 0.1 to 2%, P 0.1%, S 0.03%, Al = 0.001 to 0.1%, N 0.01%, and as a remainder, Fe and unavoidable impurities is included, wherein the microstructure is primarily a homogeneous continuous-cooled microstructure and an average crystal grain size of the microstructure is greater than 8 m and 30 um or less, is extremely effective, thereby leading to completion of the present invention.
Namely, the gist of the present invention is as described below.
A hot rolled steel sheet of the present invention includes: in terms of percent by mass, C of 0.01 to 0.2%; Si of 0.01 to 2%; Mn of 0.1 to 2%; P of 0.1%; S of 0.03%; Al of 0.001 to 0.1%; N of 0.01%; and as a remainder, Fe and unavoidable impurities, wherein a microstructure is substantially a homogeneous continuous-cooled microstructure, and an average crystal grain size of the microstructure is greater than 8 um and 30 um or less.
In accordance with the aforementioned aspect of the present invention, a hot

rolled steel sheet can be realized that has both superior bake hardenability and superior stretch flangability. Since BH amount of 50 MPa or more can be stably obtained over a strength range of 370 to 490 MPa with this hot rolled steel sheet, pressed product strength can be realized which is equivalent to the design strength in the case of applying 540 to 640 MPa-class steel sheet by introduction of pressing stress and baking finish treatment, even when the steel sheet has tensile strength of 370 to 490 MPa. Consequently, the use of these steel sheets enables even parts having strict stretch flangability requirements to be molded easily. In this manner, the present invention has a high degree of industrial value.
The aforementioned aspect may further include: in terms of percent by mass, one or more selected from B of 0.0002 to 0.002%, Cu of 0.2 to 1.2%, Ni of 0.1 to 0.6%, Mo of 0.05 to 1%, V of 0.02 to 0.2% and Cr of 0.01 to 1%.
The aforementioned aspect may further include, in terms of percent by mass, one or two of Ca of 0.0005 to 0.005% and REM of 0.0005 to 0.02%. Here, REM represents a rare earth metal, and refers to one or more selected from Sc, Y and lanthanides consisting of La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu. The aforementioned aspect may be treated with zinc plating. A method for manufacturing a hot rolled steel sheet of the present invention includes: a step of subjecting a slab having: in terms of percent by mass, C of 0.01 to 0.2%; Si of 0.01 to 2%; Mn of 0.1 to 2%; P of 0.1%; S of 0.03%; Al of 0.001 to 0.1%; N of 0.01%; and as a remainder, Fe and unavoidable impurities to a rough rolling so as to obtain a rough rolled bar; a step of subjecting the rough rolled bar to a finish rolling so as to obtain a rolled steel under conditions hi which a finishing temperature is (Ar3 transformation point + 50°C) or more; and a step of starting cooling the rolled steel after 0.5 seconds or more pass from the end of the finish rolling at a temperature of the Ar3
(transformation point or more, cooling at least in the temperature range from the Ar3 transformation point to 500°C at a cooling rate of 80°C/sec or more, further cooling until the temperature is 500°C or less to obtain a hot rolled steel sheet and coiling the hot rolled steel sheet.
In the aforementioned aspect, a starting temperature of the finish rolling may be set to 1000°C or higher.
In the aforementioned aspect, the rough rolled bar or the rolled steel may be heated during the time until the start of the step of subjecting the rough rolled bar to the finish rolling and/or during the step of subjecting the rough rolled bar to the finish rolling.
In the aforementioned aspect, descaling may be carried out during the time from the end of the step of subjecting the slab to the rough rolling to the start of the step of subjecting the rough rolled bar to the finish rolling.
In the aforementioned aspect, the resulting hot rolled steel sheet may be immersed in a zinc plating bath so as to galvanize the surface of the hot rolled steel sheet.
In the aforementioned aspect, an alloying treatment may be carried out after galvanizing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG 1A is a graph showing the relationship between BH amount and a difference in average Vickers hardness (AHv) of a microstructure.
FIG IB is a graph showing the relationship between hole expanding ratio (A,) and a difference in average Vickers hardness (AHv) of a microstructure.
FIG 2 is a graph showing the relationship between hole expanding ratio (λ) and the average crystal grain size (dm) of a continuous-cooled microstructure.
FIG 3 is a graph showing the relationship between the volume fraction of a Zw
structure and the amount of time from the end of finish rolling to the start of cooling.
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION The following provides an explanation of preferable embodiments of the present invention with reference to the drawings. However, the present invention is not limited to each of the following embodiments, and for example, the constituent features of these embodiments may be suitably combined.
The following provides an explanation of the results of basic research leading to the present invention.
The following experiment was conducted to investigate the relationships among bake hardenability, stretch flangability and steel sheet microstructure. Slabs having the steel components shown in Table 1 were melted to prepare steel sheets having a thickness of 2 mm produced in various production processes, and then their bake hardenability, stretch flangability and microstructure were examined.
Table 1

(Table Removed)
Bake hardenability was evaluated in accordance with the following procedure. No. 5 test pieces as described in JIS Z 2201 were cut out of each steel sheet, preliminary tensile strain of 2% was applied to the test pieces, and then the test pieces were subjected to heat treatment corresponding to a baking finish treatment at 170°C for 20 minutes, after which the tensile test was carried out again. The tensile test was carried out in. Accordance with the method of JIS Z 2241. Here, the BH amount is defined as the value obtained by subtracting a flow stress of the preliminary tensile strain of 2% from the upper yield point obtained in the repeated tensile test.
Stretch flangability was evaluated using the hole expanding ratio in accordance with the hole expanding test method described in Japan Iron and Steel Federation Standard
On the other hand, microstracture was investigated in accordance with the following method. Samples cut out from a location of 1/4W or 3/4 W of the width (W) of the steel sheets were ground along the cross-section in the direction of rolling, and then were etched using a nital reagent. Photographs were taken of the fields at l/4t and l/2t of the sheet thickness (t) and at a depth of 0.2 mm below a surface layer at 200-fold to 500-fold magnification using a light microscope.
Volume fraction of the microstructure is defined as the surface fraction in the aforementioned photographs of the metal structure. Next, measurement of average crystal grain size of continuous-cooled microstructure was carried out by intentionally using the cutting method described in JIS G 0552, which is inherently used to determine crystal grain size of polygonal ferrite grains. Value, m of the crystal grains per 1 mm2 of the cross-sectional area was calculated from grain size number G determined from the measured values obtained by that cutting method using the equation of m = 8 x 2G. And then, the average crystal grain size dm obtained from this value of m using the equation of dm = l/m is defined as the average crystal grain size of the continuous-cooled microstructure.
Here, the continuous-cooled microstructure (Zw) refers to a microstructure that is defined as a transformation structure at an intermediate stage between a microstructure that contains polygonal ferrite and pearlite formed by a diffusion mechanism, and
martensite formed by a shearing mechanism in the absence of diffusion as described in "Recent Research on the Bainite Structure of Low Carbon Steel and its Transformation Behavior - Final Report of the Bainite Research Committee", Bainite Research Committee, Society on Basic Research, the Iron and Steel Institute of Japan, 1994, the Iron and Steel Institute of Japan.
Namely, as described on sections 125 to 127 of the aforementioned reference in terms of the structure observed by light microscopy, a continuous-cooled microstructure (Zw) is defined as a microstructure which mainly includes bainitic ferrite (a°B), granular bainitic ferrite (OCB) and quasi-polygonal ferrite (aq), and additionally includes small amounts of residual austenite (yr) and martensite-austenite (MA).
As for aq, internal structure does not appear as a result of etching in the same manner as polygonal ferrite (PF), however aq has an acicular form and is clearly distinguished from PF. Here, when the boundary length of the target crystal grain is taken to be Iq and its equivalent circular diameter is taken to be dq, grains in which their ratio of (Iq/dq) satisfies the relationship of Iq/dq 3.5 are ccq.
The continuous-cooled microstructure (Zw) in the present invention is defined as a microstructure including any one or two or more of a°B, CCB, aq, yr and MA, provided that the total small amount of yr and MA is 3% or less.
Whether a uniform continuous-cooled microstructure is obtained is confirmed by the difference in average Vickers hardness at l/4t and l/2t of the sheet thickness (t) and at a depth of 0,2 mm below the surface layer, along with observing the microstructure as described above. In the present invention, uniformity is defined as a state in which a difference in this average Vickers hardness (AHv) is 15 Hv or less. Here, the average Vickers hardness refers to the average value obtained by measuring at least 10 points at a test load of 9.8 N using the method described in JIS Z 2244, and calculating the average
value after excluding their respective maximum and minimum values.
Among results of BH amount and hole expanding ratio measured by the above described methods, FIG. 1A shows the relationship between BH amount and the difference in the average Vickers hardness (AHv) for each microstructure, FIG IB shows the relationship between hole expanding ratio (A,) and the difference in average Vickers hardness (AHv) for each microstructure and FIG. 2 shows the relationship between hole expanding ratio (X) and the average crystal grain size (dm) of the continuous-cooled microstructure.
In FIGS. 1A and IB, the black marks indicate results of hot rolled steel sheets in which the microstructure mainly includes a continuous-cooled microstructure (Zw), while the white marks indicate results of hot rolled steel sheets in which the microstructure is composed of polygonal ferrite (PF) and pearlite (P).
The difference in average Vickers hardness (AHv) demonstrates an extremely strong correlation with BH amount and hole expanding ratio (λ). In the case in which AHv is 15 or less, namely in the case in which the microstructure is a uniform continuous-cooled microstructure, in particular, high values can be achieved for both BH amount and hole expanding ratio (A,), and as shown in FIG. 2, even in the case of a continuous-cooled microstructure, it was newly found that hole expanding ratio (λ) is even better in the case in which the average crystal grain size (dra) is greater than 8 um and 30 jam or less.
This mechanism is not completely understood; however, it is presumed that the microstructure becomes continuous-cooled microstructure (Zw) as a result of inhibition of the precipitation of carbides due to diffusion of Fe, and this inhibition of the precipitation of carbides in turn leads to increase amount of solute C, which improves the BH amount. In addition, this continuous-cooled microstructure (Zw) becomes a uniform, and there
does not exist interfaces between hard phases and soft phases which cause generation sources for voids that act as origins of stretch-flange cracks. Furthermore, the precipitation of carbides that act as origins of stretch-flange cracks is suppressed or the precipitates become finer. Therefore, the stretch flangability is also presumed to be superior.
However, in the case in which the average crystal grain size is 8 um or less, it is presumed that the uniformity of the microstructure is impaired (for example, effects of carbides included in the microstructure becomes prominent) and the hole expanding ratio tends to decrease. Moreover, in the case in which the average crystal grain size is 8 jam or less, the yield point rises, resulting in the risk of causing processability to deteriorate. In the present invention, it should be noted that not only is the BH amount at the preliminary strain of 2% superior evaluated as previously described, but also the BH amount at the preliminary strain of 10% is 30 MPa or more, and an amount of increase in tensile strength (ATS) at the preliminary strain of 10% is 30 MPa or more.
The following provides a detailed explanation of the microstructure of a steel sheet in the present invention.
hi order to satisfy both of bake hardenability and stretch flangability, it is necessary that the microstructure mainly includes a uniform continuous-cooled microstructure and that the average crystal grain size is greater than 8 um. Moreover, since the hole expanding ratio tends to decrease in the case in which the average crystal grain size is greater than 30 um, the upper limit of the average crystal grain size should be 30 um. It is preferably that the average crystal grain size is 25 um or less from the viewpoint of surface roughness and so forth.
In the case in which the microstructure mainly includes a uniform continuous-cooled microstructure, in order to realize both superior bake hardenability and
superior stretch flangability, the continuous-cooled microstructure preferably has the characteristics described above, and the entire microstructure is preferably a continuous-cooled microstructure. Although the characteristics of the microstructure of steel sheet are not significantly deteriorated even if the microstructure includes polygonal ferrite other than a continuous-cooled microstructure, it is preferable that the amount of polygonal ferrite is at a maximum of 20% or less so as to prevent deterioration of stretch flangability.
In a hot rolled steel sheet of the present invention, the maximum height Ry of the steel sheet surface is preferably 15 um (15 um Ry, 12.5 mm, In 12.5 mm) or less. This is because, as is described, for example, on page 84 of the Metal Material Fatigue Design Handbook, Society of Materials Science, Japan, the fatigue strength of hot rolled or acid washed steel sheet is clearly correlated with the maximum height Ry of the steel sheet surface.
The following provides an explanation of the reason for limiting the chemical components of the present invention.
C is one of the most important elements in the present invention. In the case in which the content of C is more than 0.2%, not only does amount of carbides acting as origins of stretch-flange cracks increase, resulting in deterioration of hole expanding ratios, but also strength ends up increasing, resulting in poor processability. Consequently, the content of C is made to be 0.2% or less. It is preferable that the content of C is less than 0.1 % in consideration of ductility. In addition, in the case in which the content of C is less than 0.01%, continuous-cooled microstructure is not obtained, resulting in the risk of decreasing the BH amount. Therefore, the content of C is made to be 0.01% or more.
Si and Mn are important elements in the present invention. They are required to be contained in specific amounts in order to realize steel sheet in which the required
continuous-cooled microstructure of the present invention is included, while having low strength of 490 MPa or less.
Mn in particular has the effect of expanding the temperature range of the austenite region towards lower temperatures and facilitates the obtaining of the required continuous-cooled microstructure of the present invention during cooling following completion of rolling. Therefore, Mn is included at a content of 0.1 % or more. However, since the effect of Mn is saturated when included at a content of more than 2%, the upper limit of the content of Mn is made to be 2%.
On the other hand, since Si has the effect of inhibiting the precipitation of iron carbides that act as origins of stretch-flange cracks during cooling, Si is included at a content of 0.01 % or more. However, its effect is saturated when included at a content of more than 2%. Thus, the upper limit of the content of Si is made to be 2%. Moreover, in the case in which the content of Si is more than 0.3%, there is the risk of causing deterioration of processability for phosphating. Therefore, the upper limit of the content of Si is preferably 0.3%.
In addition, in the case in which elements other than Mn that inhibit occurrence of hot cracks due to S are not adequately included, Mn is preferably included so that the contents of Mn and S satisfy Mn/S S 20 in terms of percent by mass. Moreover, in the case hi which Mn is included so that the contents of Si and Mn satisfy Si + Mn of more than 1.5%, strength becomes excessively high, and this causes deterioration of processability. Therefore, the upper limit of the content of Mn is preferably 1.5%.
P is an impurity and its content should be as low as possible. In the case in which the content of P is more than 0.1%, P causes negative effects on processability and weldability. Therefore, the content of P should be 0.1 % or less. However, it is preferably 0.02% or less in consideration of hole expanding and weldability.
Since S not only causes cracking during hot rolling but also forms A type inclusions that cause deterioration of hole expanding if excessively large amount of S is present, the content of S should be made to be as low as possible. Allowable range for the content of S is 0.03% or less. However, hi cases in which a certain degree of hole expansion is required, it is preferable that the content of S is 0.01% or less, and in cases in which a high degree of hole expansion is required, it is preferable that the content of S is 0.003% or less.
Al is required to be included at a content of 0.001% or more for the purpose of deoxidation of molten steel; however, its upper limit is made to be 0.1% since Al leads to increased costs. In addition, since Al causes increases in amount of non-metallic inclusions resulting in deterioration of elongation if excessively large amount of Al is included, it is preferable that the content of Al is 0.06% or less. Moreover, it is preferable that the content of Al is 0.015% or less in order to increase the BH amount. N is typically a preferable element for increasing the BH amount. However, since its effect is saturated even if N is included at a content of more than 0.01%, the upper limit of the content of N is 0.01%. In the case of applying to parts for which aging deterioration presents a problem, since aging deterioration becomes considerable if N is included at a content of more than 0.006%, the content of N is preferably 0.006% or less. Moreover, in the case of being premised on allowing to stand for two weeks or more at room temperature after production and then using for processing, the content of N is preferably 0.005% or less from the viewpoint of aging. In addition, the content of N is preferably less than 0.003% when considering allowing to stand at high temperatures during the summer or when exporting across the equator during transport by a marine vessel.
B improves quench hardenability, and is effective hi facilitating the obtaining of
the required continuous-cooled microstructure of feature of the present invention. Therefore, B is included if necessary. However, in the case in which the content of B is less than 0.0002%, the content is inadequate for obtaining that effect, while in the case in which the content of B is more than 0.002%, its effect becomes saturated. Accordingly, the content of B is made to be 0.0002% to 0.002%.
Moreover, for the purpose of imparting strength, any one or two or more of alloying elements for precipitation or alloying elements for solid solution may be included that are selected from Cu at a content of 0.2 to 1.2%, Ni at a content of 0.1 to 0.6%, Mo at a content of 0.05 to 1%, V at a content of 0.02 to 0.2% and Cr at a content of 0.01 to 0.1%. In the case in which the contents of any of these elements are less than the aforementioned ranges, its effect is unable to be obtained. In the case in which their contents exceed the aforementioned ranges, the effect becomes saturated and there are no further increases in effects even if the contents are increased.
Ca and REM are elements which change forms of non-metallic inclusions acting as origins of breakage and causing deterioration of processability, and then eliminate then-harmful effects. However, they are not effective if included at contents of less than 0.0005%, while their effects are saturated if Ca is included at a content of more than 0.005% or REM is included at a content of more than 0.02%. Consequently, Ca is preferably included at a content of 0.0005 to 0.005%, while REM is preferably included at a content of 0.0005 to 0.02%.
Here, steel having these for their main components may further include Ti, Nb, Zr, Sn, Co, Zn, W or Mg on condition that the total content of these elements is 1% or less. However, since there is the risk of Sn causing imperfections during hot rolling, the content of Sn is preferably 0.05% or less.
Next, the following provides a detailed description of the reason for limiting the
method for manufacturing a hot rolled steel sheet of the present invention.
A hot rolled steel sheet of the present invention is manufactured by a method in which slabs are hot rolled after casting and then cooled, a method in which a rolled steel or hot rolled steel sheet after hot rolling is further subjected to heat treatment on a hot-dip coating line, or a method which further includes other surface treatment on these steel sheets.
The method for manufacturing a hot rolled steel sheet of the present invention is a method for subjecting a slab to a hot rolling so as to obtain a hot rolled steel sheet, and includes a rough rolling step of rolling the slab so as to obtain a rough rolled bar (also referred to as a sheet bar), a finish rolling step of rolling the rough rolled bar so as to obtain a rolled steel, and a cooling step of cooling the rolled steel so as to obtain the hot rolled steel sheet.
There are no particular limitations on the manufacturing method carried out prior to hot rolling, that is, a method for manufacturing a slab. For example, slabs may be manufactured by melting using a blast furnace, a converter or an electric arc furnace, followed by conducting various types of secondary refining for adjusting the components so as to have the target component contents, and then casting using a method such as ordinary continuous casting, casting using the ingot method or thin slab casting. Scrap may be used for the raw material. In the case of using slabs obtained by the continuous casting, hot cast slabs may be fed directly to a hot rolling machine, or the slabs may be hot rolled after cooling to room temperature and then reheating in a heating oven.
There are no particular limitations on the temperature for reheating the slabs; however, in the case in which the temperature is 1400°C or higher, the amount of scale removed becomes excessive, resulting in a decrease in yield. Therefore, the reheating temperature is preferably lower than 1400°C. In addition, in the case of heating at a
temperature of lower than 1000°C, operating efficiency is considerably impaired in terms of scheduling. Therefore, the reheating temperature for the slabs is preferably 1000°C or higher. Moreover, in the case of reheating at a temperature of lower than 1100°C, the amount of scale removed becomes small, thereby there is a possibility that inclusions in the surface layer of the slab can not be removed together with the scales by subsequent descaling. Therefore, the reheating temperature for the slabs is preferably 1100°C or higher.
The hot rolling step includes a rough rolling step and a finish rolling step carried out after completion of that rough rolling, and a starting temperature of the finish rolling is preferably 1000°C or higher, and more preferably 1500°C or higher, in order to obtain a more uniform continuous-cooled microstructure in a direction of the sheet thickness. In order to accomplish this, it is preferable to heat the rough rolled bar or the rolled steel during the time from the end of the rough rolling to the start of the finish rolling and/or during the finish rolling, as necessary.
In order to obtain stable and superior breaking elongation in particular in the present invention, it is effective to inhibit the fine precipitation of MnS and so forth. Normally, precipitates such as MnS are redissolved in a solid solution during reheating of the slabs at about 1250°C, and finely precipitate during subsequent hot rolling. Thus, ductility can be improved by controlling the reheating temperature of the slabs to about 1150°C so as to prevent MnS from being redissolved in the solid solution.
In the case of carrying out descaling during the time from the end of the rough rolling to the start of the finish rolling, it is preferable that collision pressure P (MPa) and flow rate L (liters/cm2) of high-pressure water on the surface of the steel sheet satisfy the conditional expression of P x L £ 0.0025.
The collision pressure P of the high-pressure water on the surface of the steel
rsheet is described in the following manner (see "Iron and Steel", 1991, Vol. 77, No. 9, p. 1450).
P (MPa) = 5.64 x P0 x V/H2 where,
PO (MPa): Liquid pressure
V (liters/min): Flow rate of liquid from nozzle
H (cm): Distance between surface of steel sheet and nozzle
Flow rate L is described in the following manner.
L (liters/cm2) = V/(W xv) where,
V (liters/min): Flow rate of liquid from nozzle
W (cm): Width of spraying liquid that contacts the surface of the steel sheet per nozzle
v (cm/min): Sheet transport speed
It is not particularly necessary to specify the upper limit of value of collision pressure P x flow rate L in order to obtain the effects of the present invention; however, the upper limit of the value of collision pressure P x flow rate L is preferably 0.02 or less, since excessive nozzle wear and other problems occur when the nozzle liquid flow rate is increased.
It is preferable to remove scale by descaling the surface of the steel sheet so that the maximum height Ry of the surface of the steel sheet after finish rolling is 15 um (15 um Ry, 12.5 mm, In 12.5 mm) or less.
In addition, the subsequent finish rolling is preferably carried out within 5 seconds after the descaling so as to prevent reformation of scale.
In addition, sheet bars may be joined between the rough rolling and the finish
rolling, and the finish rolling may be carried out continuously. At that time, the rough rolled bar may be temporarily coiled into the shape of a coil, put in a cover having a warming function if necessary, and then joined after uncoiling.
The finishing temperature (FT) at completion of the finish rolling should be (Ar3 transformation point temperature + 50°C) or more. Here the Ars transformation point temperature is simply indicated with, for example, the relationship with the steel components in accordance with the following calculation formula. Namely, Ars = 910 -310 x %C + 25 x %Si - 80 x %Mneq, where Mneq = %Mn + %Cr + %Cu + %Mo + %Ni/2 + 10(%Nb - 0.02), or in the case of including B, Mneq = %Mn + %Cr + %Cu + %Mo + %Ni/2 + 10(%Nb - 0.02) + 1.
Here, the parameters of %C, %Si, %Mn, %Cr, %Cu, %Mo, %Ni, and %Nb in the formula indicate the respective contents (mass%) of elements C, Si, Mn, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni and Nb in the slabs.
In the case in which the finishing temperature (FT) at completion of the finish rolling is lower than (Ars transformation point temperature + 50°C), ferrite transformation proceeds easily, and the target microstructure can not be obtained. Therefore, FT is (Ar3 transformation point temperature + 50°C) or more. The upper limit is not particularly provided for the finishing temperature (FT) at completion of finish rolling; however, in order to obtain FT of higher than (Ars transformation point temperature + 200°C), a large burden is placed on equipments by maintaining the temperature of a furnace as well as heating the rough rolled bar or the rolled steel during the time from the end of rough rolling to the start of finish rolling and/or during finish rolling. Therefore, the upper limit of FT is preferably (Ars transformation point temperature + 200°C).
In order to make the finishing temperature at completion of rolling within the range of the present invention, it is an effective means to heat the rough rolled bar or the
irolled steel during the time from the end of rough rolling to the start of finish rolling and/or during finish rolling. Here, for the heating, any type of system may be used for the heating apparatus; however, a transverse induction heating, which enables heating uniformly in the direction of thickness, is particularly preferable rather than a solenoid induction heating, during which the surface temperature rises easily.
After completion of the finish rolling, the steel sheet is cooled at a cooling rate of 80°C/sec or more over a temperature range from the Ars transformation point temperature to 500°C; however, ferrite transformation proceeds easily and the target microstructure is unable to be obtained unless cooling is started at a temperature equal to or above the Ai3 transformation point temperature. Thus, the cooling is started at a temperature equal to or above the Aii transformation point. Moreover, the cooling rate is preferably 130°C/sec or more so as to obtain a uniform microstructure. Also, in the case in which cooling is interrupted at a temperature of 500°C or higher, ferrite transformation again proceeds easily, resulting in the risk of being unable to obtain the target microstructure.
However, in the case in which cooling is started within 0.5 seconds after completion of finish rolling, austenite recrystallization and grain growth become inadequate; thereby, ferrite transformation proceeds, resulting hi the risk of being unable to obtain the target microstructure as shown in FIG. 3. Therefore, cooling is started after 0.5 seconds passes from completion of finish rolling. The upper limit of the amount of time between the end of finish rolling and the start of cooling is not particularly specified, provided that the temperature is equal to or above the Ara transformation point; however, since effects are saturated if the amount of time is 5 seconds or longer, the upper limit is 5 seconds or less.
In addition, hi the case in which the cooling rate is less than 80°C/sec, ferrite transformation proceeds, thereby the target microstructure can not be obtained, and
adequate bake hardenability is unable to be secured. Thus, the cooling rate should be 80°C/sec or more. The effects of the present invention can be obtained without particularly specifying the upper limit of the cooling rate; however, since there is concern about warp in the steel sheet due to thermal strain, it is preferably 250°C/sec or less.
In the case in which the coiling temperature is higher than 500°C, diffusion of C easily occurs at this temperature range; thereby, solute C that enhances bake hardenability can not be adequately secured. Therefore, the coiling temperature is limited to 500°C or lower. The lower limit value of coiling temperature is not particularly specified; however, since the steel sheet changes shape due to thermal strain and so forth during cooling if the coiling temperature is lower than 350°C, it is preferably 350°C or higher.
After completion of the hot rolling step, acid washing may be carried out if necessary, and then skinpass at a reduction rate of 10% or less, or cold rolling at a reduction rate of up to about 40% may be carried out either offline or inline.
Furthermore, skinpass rolling is preferably carried out at 0.1% to 0.2% so as to correct the shape of the steel sheet and to improve ductility due to introduction of mobile dislocations.
In order to subject hot rolled steel sheet after acid washing to zinc plating, hot rolled steel sheet may be immersed in a zinc plating bath and if necessary, subjected to alloying treatment.
EXAMPLES
The following provides a more detailed explanation of the present invention through its examples.
After steels A to J and X having the chemical components shown in Table 2 were melted using a converter and were subjected to continuous casting, they were either sent
directly to rough rolling or reheated prior to rough rolling, and then were subjected to rough rolling and finish rolling so as to make sheet thickness 1.2 to 5.5 mm, and were coiled. The chemical compositions shown in the table are indicated in percent by mass (mass%).
Table 2

(Table Removed)
The details of the production conditions are shown in Table 3. Here, "heating rough rolled bar" indicates heating of the rough rolled bar or the rolled steel during the time from the end of rough rolling to the start of finish rolling and/or during finish rolling, and indicates whether or not this heating has been carried out. "FTO" indicates the temperature at the start of finish rolling. "FT" indicates the finishing temperature at
ompletion of finish rolling. "Time until start of cooling" indicates the amount of time from the end of finish rolling until the start of cooling. "Cooling rate from Ar3 to 500°C" indicates the average cooling rate when the rolled steels were cooled in the temperature range from the Ars transformation point to 500°C. "CT" indicates the coiling temperature.
As shown in Table 3, descaling was carried out in Example 5 under conditions of a collision pressure of 2.7 MPa and a flow rate of 0.001 liters/cm2 after rough rolling. In addition, zinc plating was carried out in Example 10.
24
Table 3
(Table Removed)
* 1: Descaling was carried out after rough rolling under conditions of a collision
pressure of 2.7 MPa and a flow rate of 0.001 liters/cm2. *2: The sheet was passed through a zinc plating step.

Table 3 (Continued)

(Table Removed)

The bake hardenability and stretch flangability of the hot rolled steel sheets were evaluated in the same manner as the evaluation methods described in the section on the best mode for carrying out the invention.
In addition, the microstructures of the hot rolled steel sheets were observed in accordance with the previously described method, and the volume fraction, average crystal grain size of the continuous-cooled microstructure and difference in the average Vickers hardness (AHv) were measured.
In Table 3, the results of observing the microstructure are indicated in the columns listed under the heading of "Microstructure". PF indicates polygonal ferrite, P indicates pearlite, M indicates martensite and yr indicates residual austenite.
Examples 1 to 10 demonstrated tensile strength (TS) of 370 to 490 MPa, and demonstrated hole expanding ratios of 90% or more, indicating superior stretch flangability. The 2% BH amounts, that is BH amount at the preliminary strain of 2%, were also 50 MPa or more, indicating superior bake hardenability as well.
Considering the compositions of the slabs used in the examples, the Al content was 0.015% or less in only Example 4 (slab C). Consequently, the 2% BH amount of Example 4 was 70 MPa or more, allowing the obtaining of even better bake hardenability.
Considering the starting temperature of finish rolling (FTO), the starting temperature of finish rolling (FTO) was lower than 1050°C, namely 960°C, in only Example 2. Consequently, the volume ratio of polygonal ferrite in the microstructure increased, resulting in somewhat inferior bake hardenability as compared with the other examples. The starting temperature of finish rolling is preferably 1050°C or higher, and as a result, even better stretch flangability and bake hardenability are obtained as those in Examples 1 and 3 to 10.
Considering finishing temperature (FT) at completion of the finish rolling step,
the temperature was within the range of 860 to 900°C in the examples. This is because, slabs having various compositions were used in the examples, and the finishing temperature at completion of finish rolling was determined so as to be equal to or higher than (Ar3 transformation point temperature + 50°C) corresponding to the Ar3 transformation point temperatures determined hi accordance with the compositions of the used slabs. In Examples 4 to 8, a microstructure was formed in which polygonal ferrite was not contained and which was only composed of a continuous-cooled microstructure.
Considering the cooling rate in the temperature range from the Ara transformation point temperature to 500°C, the cooling rate was less than 130°C in Examples 9 and 10. In contrast, the cooling rate was 130°C or more in Examples 1 to 8.
Since the cooling rate was 130°C or more in Examples 1 to 8, these examples demonstrated small differences in average Vickers hardness (∆Hv) as compared with Examples 9 and 10, and this is thought to have resulted hi continuous-cooled microstructure having better vmiformity. As a result, Examples 1 to 8 demonstrated better stretch flangability and bake hardenability than Examples 9 and 10.
In addition, in Examples 1 to 8, the rough rolled bar or the rolled steel was heated during the time from the end of rough rolling to the start of finish rolling and/or during finish rolling. As a result, this was thought to have made it possible to adjust the temperature of the rough rolled bar or the rolled steel more accurately; thereby, the occurrence of temperature unevenness and so forth could be inhibited. This is also believed to be a factor in the obtaining of superior stretch flangability and bake hardenability in Examples 1 to 8 as compared with Examples 9 and 10.
hi Comparative Example 1, the finishing temperature (FT) at completion of finish rolling was lower than the temperature of (Ara transformation point temperature + 50°C). Consequently, polygonal ferrite was included in the microstructure of the produced hot
tolled steel sheet at a volume fraction of 25%, thereby the target microstructure could not be obtained. As a result, an adequate hole expanding ratio was unable to be obtained. In Comparative Example 2, the amount of time from the end of finish rolling to the start of cooling was less than 0.5 seconds. Consequently, polygonal fertile was included in the microstructure of the produced hot rolled steel sheet at a volume fraction of 35%, thereby the target microstructure could not be obtained. As a result, an adequate hole expanding ratio was unable to be obtained.
In Comparative Example 3, the cooling rate in the temperature range from the Ars transformation point temperature to 500°C was less than 80°C/sec. Consequently, the microstructure of the hot rolled steel sheet produced was composed of polygonal ferrite and pearlite, and the target microstructure could not be obtained. As a result, adequate hole expanding ratio and BH amount were unable to be obtained.
In Comparative Example 4, the coiling temperature (CT) was higher than 500°C. Consequently, the microstructure of the hot rolled steel sheet produced was composed of polygonal ferrite and pearlite, and the target microstructure could not be obtained. As a result, adequate hole expanding ratio and BH amount were unable to be obtained.
In Comparative Example 5, the finishing temperature (FT) at completion of finish rolling was lower than the temperature of (Ar3 transformation point temperature + 50°C), and the cooling rate in the temperature range from the Ar3 transformation point temperature to 500°C was less than 80°C/sec. In addition, the coiling temperature (CT) was below 350°C. Consequently, the microstructure of the hot rolled steel sheet was composed of polygonal ferrite, martensite and pearlite, and the target microstructure could not be obtained. As a result, adequate hole expanding ratio and BH amount were unable to be obtained.
In Comparative Example 6, the finishing temperature (FT) at completion of finish
(trolling was lower than the temperature of (Ar3 transformation point temperature + 50°C), and the cooling rate in the temperature range from the Ar3 transformation point temperature to 500°C was less than 80°C/sec. Consequently, the microstructure of the hot rolled steel sheet was composed of polygonal ferrite, martensite and pearlite, and the target microstructure could not be obtained. As a result, strength was excessively high, and an adequate hole expanding ratio was unable to be obtained.
In Comparative Example 7, the hot rolled steel sheet was produced using slab X, and the content of C was greater than 0.2% by mass. In addition, the cooling rate in the temperature range from the Ar3 transformation point temperature to 500°C was less than 80°C/sec. Consequently, the microstructure of the hot rolled steel sheet included polygonal ferrite at a volume fraction of 50% and residual austenite at a volume fraction of 13% in addition to the continuous-cooled microstructure (Zw); thereby, the target microstructure could not be obtained. As a result, strength was excessively high, and adequate hole expanding ratio and BH amount were unable to be obtained.
INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY
Since this rolled steel sheet has a uniform microstructure capable of demonstrating superior stretch flangability, it can be molded and processed even under conditions in which the steel sheets are required to have high stretch flangability. In addition, even when the steel sheet has tensile strength of 370 to 490 MPa, pressed products can be formed having strength equivalent to pressed products formed using steel sheets having tensile strength of 540 to 640 MPa by introduction of pressing stress and baking finish treatment.
Consequently, this rolled steel sheet can be preferably used as steel sheet for industrial products to which reduction of gauges are strongly required for the purpose of
pachieving weight saving, as in the case of chassis parts and so forth of automobiles in particular. Moreover, due to its superior stretch flangability, this rolled steel sheet can be particularly preferably used as steel sheet for automobile parts such as inner plate members, structural members and underbody members.











WE CLAIM:
1. A hot rolled steel sheet having a BH amount of 50 MPa or more, a tensile strength of 370
to 490 MPa, and a hole expanding ratio of 90% or more, the hot rolled steel sheet
comprising: in terms of percent by mass,
C of 0.01 to 0.2%;
Si of0.01 to 2%;
Mn of 0.1 to 2%;
P of ≤0.1%;
S of ≤0.03%;
Alof0.001 to 0.1%;and
N of≤0.01%;
optionally comprising, one or more selected from
B of 0.0002 to 0.002%,
Cu of 0.2 to l.2%,
Ni of 0.l to 0.6%,
Mo of 0.05 to 1%,
Vof 0.02 to0.2%,and
Cr of 0.01 tol%;
further optionally comprising, one or two of
Ca of 0.0005 to 0.005%, and
rare earth metal of 0.0005 to 0.02%; and
as a remainder, Fe and unavoidable impurities,
wherein the rare earth metal is one or more selected from Sc, Y and lanthanides consisting of La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu,
a microstructure consists of a homogeneous continuous-cooled microstructure and polygonal ferrite (PF) in an amount of 0% or more to 20% or less,
the continuous-cooled microstructure consists of bainitic ferrite (α°B), granular bainitic ferrite (αB), quasi-polygonal ferrite (αq), residual austenite (r), martensite-austenite (MA),
the total amount of residual austenite (r) and martensite-austenite (MA) is 3% or less, and
an average crystal grain size of the microstructure is greater than 8 µm and 30 µm or less.
2 The hot rolled steel sheet as claimed in claim 1, wherein the hot rolled steel sheet is
treated with zinc plating.

Documents:

1090-DELNP-2006-Abstract-(02-08-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Abstract-(13-09-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Abstract-(18-05-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Abstract-(18-08-2010).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Abstract-(22-02-2011).pdf

1090-delnp-2006-abstract.pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Claims-(02-08-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Claims-(13-09-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Claims-(18-05-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Claims-(18-08-2010).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Claims-(22-02-2011).pdf

1090-delnp-2006-claims.pdf

1090-delnp-2006-Correspondence Others-(01-07-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Correspondence Others-(02-08-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Correspondence-Others-(18-05-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Correspondence-Others-(18-08-2010).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Correspondence-Others-(22-02-2011).pdf

1090-delnp-2006-correspondence-others-1.pdf

1090-delnp-2006-correspondence-others.pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Description (Complete)-(18-08-2010).pdf

1090-delnp-2006-description (complete).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Drawings-(18-08-2010).pdf

1090-delnp-2006-drawings.pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Form-1-(02-08-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Form-1-(13-09-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Form-1-(18-08-2010).pdf

1090-delnp-2006-form-1.pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Form-13-(18-08-2010).pdf

1090-delnp-2006-form-18.pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Form-2-(02-08-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Form-2-(13-09-2011).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Form-2-(18-08-2010).pdf

1090-delnp-2006-form-2.pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Form-3-(18-08-2010).pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Form-3-(22-02-2011).pdf

1090-delnp-2006-form-3.pdf

1090-delnp-2006-form-5.pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-GPA-(18-08-2010).pdf

1090-delnp-2006-gpa.pdf

1090-delnp-2006-pct-210.pdf

1090-delnp-2006-pct-301.pdf

1090-delnp-2006-pct-304.pdf

1090-delnp-2006-pct-308.pdf

1090-DELNP-2006-Petition 137-(18-08-2010).pdf


Patent Number 249081
Indian Patent Application Number 1090/DELNP/2006
PG Journal Number 39/2011
Publication Date 30-Sep-2011
Grant Date 28-Sep-2011
Date of Filing 01-Mar-2006
Name of Patentee NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION
Applicant Address 6-3, OTEMACHI 2-CHOME, CHIYODA-KU, TOKYO 100-8071, JAPAN
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 OSAMU KAWANO C/O NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION, OF OITA WORKS, 1, OAZA-NISHINOSU, OITA-SHI, OITA-KEN, JAPAN
2 TATSUO YOKOI C/O NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION, OF OITA WORKS, 1, OAZA-NISHINOSU, OITA-SHI, OITA-KEN, JAPAN
3 TETSUYA YAMADA C/O NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION, OF OITA WORKS, 1, OAZA-NISHINOSU, OITA-SHI, OITA-KEN, JAPAN
PCT International Classification Number C22C 38/00
PCT International Application Number PCT/JP2004/013088
PCT International Filing date 2004-09-02
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 2003-314590 2003-09-05 Japan