Impact Toughness of Ultrafine-Grained Interstitial-Free Steel Academic Article uri icon


  • Impact toughness of an ultrafine-grained (UFG) interstitial-free (IF) steel produced by equalchannel angular extrusion/pressing (ECAE/P) at room temperature was investigated using Charpy impact tests. The UFG IF steel shows an improved combination of strength and impact toughness compared with the corresponding coarse-grained (CG) one. The CG IF steel samples underwent a transition in fracture toughness values with decreasing temperature because of a sudden change in fracture mode from microvoid coalescence (ductile) to cleavage (brittle) fracture. Grain refinement down to the submicron (≈320 nm) levels increased the impact energies in the upper shelf and lower shelf regions, and it considerably decreased the ductile-tobrittle transition temperature (DBTT) from 233 K (-40 °C) for the CG steel to approximately 183 K (-90 °C) for the UFG steel. Also, the sudden drop in DBTT with a small transition range for the CG sample changed to a more gradual decrease in energy for the UFG sample. The improvement in toughness after UFG formation was attributed to the combined effects of grain refinement and delamination and/or separation in the heavily deformed microstructure. Although an obvious change from the ductile fracture by dimples to the brittle fracture by cleavage was recognized at 233 K (-40 °C) for the CG steel, no fully brittle fracture occurred even at 103 K (-170 °C) in the UFG steel. © 2012 The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International.

author list (cited authors)

  • Saray, O., Purcek, G., Karaman, I., & Maier, H. J.

citation count

  • 17

publication date

  • November 2012