Raabe MS&T Maraging Steel 2010 Houston
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Segregation and partitioning phenomena at phase boundaries of complex steels are important for their microstructural, mechanical, and kinetic properties. We present nanoscopic atom probe tomography ...
Segregation and partitioning phenomena at phase boundaries of complex steels are important for their microstructural, mechanical, and kinetic properties. We present nanoscopic atom probe tomography results across martensite/austenite phase boundaries in a precipitation-hardened maraging TRIP steel after aging at 450°C for 48 hours (12.2 at.% Mn, 1.9 at.% Ni, 0.6 at.% Mo, 1.2 at.% Ti, 0.1 at.% Si, 0.3 at.% Al, 0.05 at.% C). The system reveals compositional changes at the phase boundaries: Mn and Ni are enriched ~2.1 and 1.2 times, respectively, relative to the average matrix content. In contrast, Ti is depleted ~6.9 times relative to the average content, Al ~6.6 times, Mo ~2.0 times, and Fe ~1.2 times. The strong accumulation of Mn at the interfaces is of particular interest as it strongly affects the transformation equilibrium and kinetics in steels. We observe up to 27 at. % Mn in a 20 nm thick layer at the martensite/austenite phase boundary. This can be explained by a large difference in diffusivity between martensite and austenite. The high diffusivity in martensite leads to a Mn-flux towards austenite. The low diffusivity in austenite does not allow accommodation of this flux within the matrix. Consequently, the phase boundary moves towards martensite with a Mn-composition given by the local equilibrium condition. This interpretation relies on diffusion calculations performed with the method DICTRA. A mixed-mode approach involving finite interface mobility was also applied to refine the agreement with the experiments. In order to achieve a good agreement the diffusivity in martensite had to be increased compared to ferrite. This can be attributed to a high defect density.
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