Influence of alloying elements on the kinetics of strain-induced martensitic nucleation in low-alloy, multiphase high-strength steels

L. Samek, E. De Moor, J. Penning, Bruno C. De Cooman

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181 Citations (Scopus)


Low-alloy multiphase transformation-induced-plasticity (TRIP) steels offer excellent mechanical properties in terms of elongation and strength. This results from the complex synergy between the different phases, i.e., ferrite, bainite, and retained austenite. The precise knowledge of the austenite-to-martensite transformation kinetics is required to understand the behavior of TRIP steels in a wide array of applications. The parameters determining the stability of the metastable austenite were reviewed and investigated experimentally, with special attention paid to the effect of the chemical composition, the temperature, and the size of the austenite particles. The results show that the stability and rate of transformation of the austenite particles in TRIP steels have a pronounced composition dependence: austenite particles transform at a faster rate in CMnSi TRIP steel than in TRIP steels in which Si is fully or partially replaced by Al and P. The results clearly support the view that (1) both a high C content and a submicron size are required for the room-temperature stability of the austenite particles and (2) the effect of the chemical composition on the transformation is due to its influence on the intrinsic stacking-fault energy. In addition, the composition dependence of the Md30 temperature was derived by regression analysis of experimental data. The influence of the size of the retained austenite particles on their Msσ temperature was studied by means of a thermodynamic model. Both the analysis of the transformation-kinetics data and the microstructural analysis by transmission electron microscopy revealed the very limited role of autocatalysis in the transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-124
Number of pages16
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


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