The influence on the heat treatment response and rolling contact fatigue behavior of thermomechanical processing (TMP) to refine grain and soluble carbide size was studied for VIM-VAR AISI M-50 steel. Material was processed by warm rolling and then given a final, hardening heat treatment. As-received material was also given the same final heat treatments to provide a comparison. Rolling contact fatigue testing indicates equivalence of the as-received (spheroidize-annealed) and TMP specimens evaluated. This is believed to result from inability of this TMP to refine insoluble carbides and also to the presence of porosity in both as-received and also the processed material. The porosity consists of voids at the ends of the insoluble carbides and does not appear to have been reported heretofore.

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