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As an undesired accompanying element, phosphorus has a negative effect on the service properties of steels; the toughness and corrosion performance is thereby particularly affected. In order to determine the effect of low phosphorus contents on these service properties and to enable an evaluation of the extent of economically acceptable metallurgical measures required to obtain these low phosphorus contents, a cooperative research project involving five German steel works has been carried out under the leadership of the Verein Deutscher Eisenhüttenleute (VDEh). The toughness performance of heavy plate, hot-rolled strip, forging and wire rod products in six important steel grades with specially adjusted low phosphorus contents, which are used for different significant applications, has been investigated by notch impact strength tests, fracture mechanical tests and the Drop Weight Test (DWT). The susceptibility to cold cracking was determined on two steels by the Tekken test, and the corrosion behaviour was tested in terms of stress corrosion cracking and hydrogen-induced crack initiation in various solutions. For the two fine-grained structural steels StE 355 and StE 460, the two steel grades StE 385.7 TM and StE 480.7 TM for pipeline pipes, the spring steel 50 CrV 4, and the creep resistant forging steel 30 CrMoNiV 5 11, phosphorus contents down to 0.002 % have been adjusted in several production melts each, and different toughness and corrosion tests have been performed on the base metal and welded joints, as well as at different tempering strengths for the spring steel, and also after long-time annealing for the forgings.

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Bibliographic Reference: EUR 12474 DE (1990) 192 pp., MF, ECU 8, blow-up copy ECU 25
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