Unravelling the mechanical behaviour of advanced multiphase steels isothermally obtained below Ms

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The initial formation of athermal martensite was proven to accelerate the subsequent bainite formation kinetics during isothermal holdings below the martensite-start temperature (Ms). The presence of prior athermal martensite (PAM) within the phase mixture is expected to modify the overall mechanical response of these newly-designed multiphase steels. Differences stem not only from the balance of product phases, but also from the effect of tempering of the PAM with variations in the applied holding time. This work investigates the effect of tempering time on the mechanical behaviour of the PAM and, as consequence, on the overall mechanical response of these microstructures. Results show that, for short holding times (several minutes), PAM yields similar to as-quenched martensite while, for longer holding times, its yielding behaviour becomes comparable to the one exhibited by typical tempered martensite. Furthermore, the use of Kocks-Mecking curves for the analysis of the mechanical performance confirms the bainitic character of the product phase isothermally formed below Ms. Tailoring the bainitic-martensitic microstructure with variations of the holding time below Ms enables to obtain advanced multiphase steels with comparable mechanical properties to those exhibited by conventional bainitic steels, but in shorter processing times due to the acceleration of bainite formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108484
Number of pages12
JournalMaterials and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Bainite formation
  • Microstructure-properties
  • Multiphase steels
  • Prior athermal martensite
  • Tempering
  • Yielding behaviour


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