Numerous studies have demonstrated the viability of lightweight Fe-Mn-Al-C steels for exhibiting an improved balance of high strength and high ductility in automotive applications. However, their high-cycle fatigue behaviour has been scarcely studied. This work examines the effect of κ-carbides formed during the aging treatment on the high-cycle fatigue performance of an austenitic Fe-29Mn-8.7Al-1C (wt. %) steel. The material is studied in solution-treated, under-aged, and peak-aged conditions. High-cycle fatigue tests and analysis of fatigue fracture surfaces were performed using SEM and EBSD techniques. The results indicate satisfactory high-cycle fatigue performance in the aged material, somewhat better than for high Mn steels. Fatigue crack formation and growth occur predominantly via a quasi-cleavage mechanism along the [1 1 1] crystallographic planes, which is also a plane for planar glide and the formation of persistent slip bands during plastic deformation. The nanoscale intragranular κ-carbides in the aged samples interact with the gliding dislocations, resulting in the shearing of nanoscale κ-carbides in a weakly coupled regime. The resistance of particles to shearing is determined by their size, volume fraction, and antiphase boundary energy (γAPB), which vary during the aging process. The aged Fe-29Mn-8.7Al-1C steel significantly improves the fatigue strength as the formation of persistent slip bands is delayed due to an additional energy barrier related to the shearing of the κ-carbides. This improvement peaks in the under-aged condition and decreases with further aging time.

Full Text
Published version (Free)

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call