Fracture toughness enhanced by grain boundary shielding in submicron-grained low carbon steel

Masaki Tanaka, Naoki Fujimoto, Kenji Higashida

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The enhancement of toughness at low temperatures in fine grained low carbon steel was studied, basing on a shielding theory due to dislocations and grain boundaries. Fully annealed low carbon steel was subjected to an accumulative roll bonding (ARB) process for grain refining. The grain size perpendicular to the normal direction was found to be approximately 200 nm after the ARB process. The fracture toughness of low carbon steel ARB applied was measured at 77 K by four-point bending, comparing with the fracture toughness of those without the ARB process. It was found that the value of fracture toughness at 77 K was increased by grain refining due to the ARB, indicating that the ARB process enhances toughness at low temperatures as reported in interstitial free steel and phosphorus doped interstitial free steel. It also deduces that the brittle-ductile transition (BDT) temperature shifted to a lower temperature. The enhancement of toughness and the decrease of the BDT temperature due to grain refining cannot be explained completely by the dislocation pile-up model of dislocations at grain boundaries. Quasi-two-dimensional simulations of dislocation dynamics, taking into account of crack tip shielding due to dislocations, were performed to investigate the effect of a dislocation source spacing along a crack front on the BDT. The simulation indicated that the BDT temperature is decreased by decreasing the dislocation source spacing. In addition to the simulation, the authors suggest a new concept of accommodating stress intensity at the crack tip due to grain boundaries to explain the enhancement of toughness and the decrease of the BDT temperature in fine grained materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-63
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Transactions
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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