We report an in-situ study of the deformation-induced rotation and transformation of austenite grains in a low-carbon steel treated by the quenching and partitioning process using electron back-scattered diffraction and uniaxial tension experiments. It was found that retained austenite could be classified into four types according to different locations in the microstructure: retained austenite at triple edges, twinned austenite, retained austenite distributed between martensite and retained austenite embedded completely in a single ferrite. The results showed that at the early stage of deformation, the retained austenite at the triple edges and twinned austenite transformed easily, while the retained austenite at the boundaries between martensite and that embedded completely in a single ferrite rotated with no transformation; and did not transform until a large deformation was provided. This phenomenon implies that the retained austenite at the boundaries between martensite and that embedded completely in a single ferrite are more capable of resisting deformation. From the observations of Schmid factor maps and the texture of retained austenite, it can be concluded that the rotation of retained austenite followed a particular slip plane and slip direction. Moreover, the rotation of retained austenite could improve the ductility of the material. In comparison with the film-like retained austenite distributed between martensite, the retained austenite embedded completely in a single ferrite could resist a larger rotation angle, i.e. the latter could contribute more to the ductility of the steel. In addition, from the analysis of kernel average misorientation that the strain distribution mainly concentrated near the α - γ phase boundaries and in the interior of martensite, and the rotation angles and dislocation density of austenite increase with increasing strain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering