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MICROSTRUCTURE OF URANIUM STEELS
WATERTOWN ARSENAL LABS MA
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Metallographic studies were conducted on small vacuummelted steel ingots made from a 0.59 carbon ingot iron base to which uranium was added in the range of 1.33 to 2.37. It was determined that uranium in excess of 1.33 resulted in an iron-uranium complex carbide segregation which persisted in the structure after austenitizing at 1500F. An increase of uranium in the range studied failed to increase the hardness of the annealed steels but produced a noticeable increase in hardness of the quenched series. Traces of fine peralite were present in some of the quenched uranium steels. An increase in carbon content of these steels may have contributed to the increase in hardness. The mechanical properties of these high uranium steels would be impaired by the presence of these iron-uranium complex carbides in the grain boundaries.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE