The influence of transformation induced plasticity in third-generation advanced high strength steels

Considerable research has been invested in developing thin sheet Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSSs) and to metastabilize phases at ambient temperatures; however, little has been done to determine the extent to which the transformation from austenite to martensite (TRIP), can suppress/delay damage. The damage processes that lead to fracture in AHSSs are complex and understanding them requires a careful assessment of the strain partitioning amongst the phases, the evolution of microstructure with strain and how damage accumulates in the form of voids and microcracks. This can only be accomplished by applying a range of methodologies tracked as deformation proceeds, including micro-Digital Image Correlation (µDIC), Electron Backscattered diffraction (EBSD), X-ray microtomography (µXCT) and synchrotron-sourced High Energy X-ray diffraction (HEXRD). Such experiments have also been applied to notched specimen to further understand the response of AHSSs at different states of stress. Data will be presented on a range of ultrahigh strength AHSSs with and without TRIP-assistance (dual phase (DP), quench & partition (Q&P), and Medium-Mn steels). The data suggests that grain refinement, TRIP and decreased mechanical heterogeneity amongst phases can be used to suppress damage. It remains a challenge to quantify these effects separately, opening new avenues for experimental and modeling investigations.