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Influence of Microstructural Morphology on Hydrogen Embrittlement in a Medium-Mn Steel Fe-12Mn-3Al-0.05C


The ultrafine-grained (UFG) duplex microstructure of medium-Mn steel consists of a considerable amount of austenite and ferrite/martensite, achieving an extraordinary balance of mechanical properties and alloying cost. In the present work, two heat treatment routes were performed on a cold-rolled medium-Mn steel Fe-12Mn-3Al-0.05C (wt.%) to achieve comparable mechanical properties with different microstructural morphologies. One heat treatment was merely austenite-reverted-transformation (ART) annealing and the other one was a successive combination of austenitization (AUS) and ART annealing. The distinct responses to hydrogen ingression were characterized and discussed. The UFG martensite colonies produced by the AUS + ART process were found to be detrimental to ductility regardless of the amount of hydrogen, which is likely attributed to the reduced lattice bonding strength according to the H-enhanced decohesion (HEDE) mechanism. With an increase in the hydrogen amount, the mixed microstructure (granular + lamellar) in the ART specimen revealed a clear embrittlement transition with the possible contribution of HEDE and H-enhanced localized plasticity (HELP) mechanisms.

Funding source: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within the Collaborative Research Center (SFB)
Countries: Germany

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