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This article describes microstructures and microstructure-property relationships in steels. It emphasizes the correlation of microstructure and properties as a function of carbon content and processing in low-alloy steels. The article discusses the iron-carbon phase diagram and the phase transformations that change the structure and properties at varying levels of carbon content. Microstructures described include pearlite, bainite, proeutectoid ferrite and cementite, ferrite-pearlite, and martensite. The article depicts some of the primary processing steps that result in ferrite-pearlite microstructures. It shows the range of hardness levels which may be obtained by tempering at various temperatures as a function of the carbon...

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