Correlating Prior Austenite Grain Microstructure, Microscale Deformation and Fracture of Ultra-High Strength Martensitic Steels Academic Article uri icon


  • Herein, we correlate the prior austenite grain (PAG) microstructure to deformation and fracture mechanisms of an ultra-high strength martensitic steel. To this end, a low-carbon martensitic steel is subjected to five heat-treatments and the PAG microstructure in the material is reconstructed from the EBSD inverse pole figure maps of the martensitic microstructure. The deformation and fracture response of all heat-treated materials are characterized by in situ tension tests of dog-bone and single-edge notch specimens that allow us to capture both the macroscopic mechanical response and the evolution of microscopic strains via microscale digital image correlation. The experimental results, together with microstructure-based finite element analysis, are then used to elucidate the effect of the PAG microstructure on the mechanical response of the material. Our results show that the interaction between the heterogeneous deformation fields induced by the notch and the bimodal PAG size distribution leads to an increase in the propensity of shear deformation and degradation in the fracture response of the material with increasing heat-treatment temperature and time. Our results also suggest that achieving a unform distribution of fine grains is an effective way to enhance both the strength and fracture properties of this class of materials.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Zheng, X., Ghassemi-Armaki, H., Hartwig, K. T., & Srivastava, A.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Zheng, Xinzhu||Ghassemi-Armaki, Hassan||Hartwig, Karl T||Srivastava, Ankit

publication date

  • January 2021


published in