J. Phys. IV France 07 (1997) C5-359-C5-366
Martensite in Steels : its Significance, Recent Developments and TrendsA. S. Schulz-Beenken
Universität-GH Paderborn, At. Soest, Lübecker Ring 2
Martensite is generally known as a hard but brittle microstructure. This is only true for high carbon plate martensite. Recently developed steels with a lath martensite microstructure offer an excellent toughness at yield strength of 1000 MPa yield strength. A transformation into lath martensite by glide as invariant shear mechanism is only possible at a carbon content below 0,03 %. The source of both high strength and good toughness is the high dislocation density and the narrow lath width off less than 1 µm. By a thermomechanical treatment, that leads to a finer lath structure both strength and ductility can be improved to a yield strength of 1150 MPa and an elongation of 18 %. As, unlike high carbon plate martensite, the hardness of lath martensite is not achieved by the distortion of the tetragonal cell by carbon atoms, the hardness of lath martensite remains stable up - during an annealing treatment up to 600°C. This thermal stability of the lath martensit microstructure makes an additional increase of hardness by the precipitation of different types of intermetallic phases possible. The increase of the hardness from 300 HV to 600 HV by precipitation without volume changes and good cold deformability reveals many new application in manufacturing. In plate martensite too, comparatively high toughness values can be achieved, if carbon is replaced by nitrogen. The refining influence of nitrides on the austenite grain sizes and the precipitation of fine nitrides during the annealing process leads to impact values three times higher than those of comparable high carbon plate martensite.
© EDP Sciences 1997