Martensite to austenite reversion in a high-Mn steel: Partitioning-dependent two-stage kinetics revealed by atom probe tomography, in-situ magnetic measurements and simulation

Souza Filho, I.R. and Kwiatkowski da Silva, A. and Sandim, M.J.R. and Ponge, D. and Gault, B. and Sandim, H.R.Z. and Raabe, D.

Volume: 166 Pages: 178-191
DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2018.12.046
Published: 2019

Austenite (γ) reversion in a cold-rolled 17.6 wt.% Mn steel was tracked by means of dilatometry and in-situ magnetic measurements during slow continuous annealing. A splitting of the γ-reversion into two stages was observed to be a result of strong elemental partitioning between γ and α′-martensite during the low temperature stage between 390 and 575 °C. Atom probe tomography (APT) results enable the characterization of the Mn-enriched reversed-γ and the Mn-depleted remaining α′-martensite. Because of its lower Mn content, the reversion of the remaining α′-martensite into austenite takes place at a higher temperature range between 600 and 685 °C. APT results agree with partitioning predictions made by thermo-kinetic simulations of the continuous annealing process. The critical composition for γ-nucleation was predicted by thermodynamic calculations (Thermo-Calc) and a good agreement was found with the APT data. Additional thermo-kinetic simulations were conducted to evaluate partitioning-governed γ-growth during isothermal annealing at 500 °C and 600 °C. Si partitioning to γ was predicted by DICTRA and confirmed by APT. Si accumulates near the moving interface during γ-growth and homogenizes over time. We used the chemical composition of the remaining α′-martensite from APT data to calculate its Curie temperature (TCurie) and found good agreement with magnetic measurements. These results indicate that elemental partitioning strongly influences not only γ-reversion but also the TCurie of this steel. The results are important to better understand the thermodynamics and kinetics of austenite reversion for a wide range of Mn containing steels and its effect on magnetic properties. © 2018 Acta Materialia Inc.

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