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The Significance Of Ultrafine Film-like Retained Austenite In Governing Very High Cycle Fatigue Behavior In An Ultrahigh-strength MN–SI–Cr–C Steel

P. Zhao, B. Zhang, C. Cheng, R. Misra, Guhui Gao, B. Bai, Y. Weng
Published 2015 · Materials Science

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Abstract We elucidate here the very high cycle fatigue (VHCF) behavior of an ultrahigh-strength medium carbon Mn–Si–Cr–C steel processed using the approach of bainite-based quenching and partitioning (BQ&P). The microstructure of BQ&P process comprised of bainite, carbon-depleted martensite, retained austenite (RA) and small amount of martensite/austenite island (M/A). The tensile strength (Rm) and fatigue limit strength after 109 cycles (σw9) and in the non-failed condition were 1688 MPa and 875 MPa, respectively such that σw9/Rm exceeded conventional steels and was 0.52. Two types of failure modes were observed depending on the surface and microstructure, notably surface-induced failure and non-inclusion-induced failure, where the non-inclusion-induced failure was influenced by the microstructure. Inclusion-induced failure was absent. The study underscores that film-like retained austenite was the underlying reason for superior fatigue properties, hitherto not previously obtained.
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