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Although a precise understanding of roll failure genesis is complex, the microstructure of a broken roll can often unravel intrinsic deficiencies in material quality responsible for its failure. This is especially relevant in circumstances when, even under a similar mill-operating environment, the failure involves a particular roll or a specific batch of rolls. This paper provides a microstructural insight into the cause of premature breakage of a second-intermediate Sendzimir mill drive roll used at a stainless steel sheet rolling plant under the Steel Authority of India Limited. Microstructural issues influencing roll quality, such as characteristics of carbides, tempered martensite, retained austenite, etc., have been extensively studied through optical and scanning electron microscopy, electron-probe microanalysis, image analysis, and x-ray diffractometry. These are discussed to elucidate specific microstructural inadequacies that accentuated the failure. The study reveals that even through retained austenite content is low (6.29 vol%) and martensite is non-acicular, the roll breakage is a consequence of intergranular cracking caused by improper carbide morphology and distribution.

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