This is a viewpoint paper on recent progress in the understanding of the microstructure–property relations of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS). These alloys constitute a class of high-strength, formable steels that are designed mainly as sheet products for the transportation sector. AHSS have often very complex and hierarchical microstructures consisting of ferrite, austenite, bainite, or martensite matrix or of duplex or even multiphase mixtures of these constituents, sometimes enriched with precipitates. This complexity makes it challenging to establish reliable and mechanism-based microstructure–property relationships. A number of excellent studies already exist about the different types of AHSS (such as dual-phase steels, complex phase steels, transformation-induced plasticity steels, twinning-induced plasticity steels, bainitic steels, quenching and partitioning steels, press hardening steels, etc.) and several overviews appeared in which their engineering features related to mechanical properties and forming were discussed. This article reviews recent progress in the understanding of microstructures and alloy design in this field, placing particular attention on the deformation and strain hardening mechanisms of Mn-containing steels that utilize complex dislocation substructures, nanoscale precipitation patterns, deformation-driven transformation, and twinning effects. Recent developments on microalloyed nanoprecipitation hardened and press hardening steels are also reviewed. Besides providing a critical discussion of their microstructures and properties, vital features such as their resistance to hydrogen embrittlement and damage formation are also evaluated. We also present latest progress in advanced characterization and modeling techniques applied to AHSS. Finally, emerging topics such as machine learning, through-process simulation, and additive manufacturing of AHSS are discussed. The aim of this viewpoint is to identify similarities in the deformation and damage mechanisms among these various types of advanced steels and to use these observations for their further development and maturation.
|Journal||Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|