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A heat treatment for ferrous alloys in which a part is quenched from the austenitizing temperature at a rate fast enough to avoid formation of ferrite or pearlite and then held at temperature just above martensite transformation temperature, until transformation to bainite is complete. Although designated as bainite in both autempered steel and austempered ductile iron (ADI), austempered steel consists of two-phase microstructures containing ferrite and carbide, while austempered ductile iron consists of two-phase microstructures containing ferrite and austenite.

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