Simulations of industrial thermomechanical processing and on line accelerated cooling of a low carbon microalloyed strip steel were carried out using a quench deformation dilatometer. Effects of processing parameters, such as accelerated cooling rate Ṫ and accelerated cooling interrupt temperature TI on the critical transformation temperatures and final microstructure were determined. The most important on line accelerated cooling (OLAC) processing parameter is the accelerated cooling interrupt temperature, which controls whether the transformed microstructure is predominantly ferrite or bainite. A variety of (Ti,Nb,Fe) carbide, nitride, and carbonitride precipitates are present in the OLAC processed samples. The final precipitate distribution is developed at three stages of processing, namely: dissolution and coarsening of pre-existing precipitates at the reheat temperature, precipitation in deformed austenite during the deformation schedule, and precipitation in ferrite after the interruption of accelerated cooling. Maximum precipitation strengthening occurs for TI=700-640°C. © 1996 The Institute of Materials.