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The influence of silicon in tempered martensite: Understanding the microstructure-properties relationship in 0.5-0.6 wt.% C steels

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/04/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Acta Materialia
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)169-178
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The strengthening contributions in medium-carbon tempered martensite are unveiled in this work. By using transmission electron microscopy and synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction, the different microstructural features have been captured; these include precipitation, grain boundary, solid solution and dislocation forest strengthening. The evolution of these features was observed as a function of tempering temperature and silicon content. In trying to elucidate the nature of grain boundary strengthening, three approaches are presented, including a plasticity model based on irreversible thermodynamics, misorientation angle characterization by electron backscatter diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy analysis of failed regions. Based on the findings, it is concluded that silicon inhibits martensite recovery, and that at low tempering temperatures, lath boundaries also appear to contribute to strengthening.