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Relationship Between Microstructure And Mechanical Properties In Q&P-Steels

Richard G. Thiessen, Georg Paul, Roland Sebald

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Third-Generation advanced high strength steels are being developed with the goal of reducing the body-in-white weight while simultaneously increasing passenger safety. This requires not only the expected increase in strength and elongation, but also improved local formability. Optimizing elongation and formability were often contradictory goals in dual-phase steel developments. Recent results have shown that so-called "quench and partitioning" (Q&P) concepts can satisfy both requirements [1]. Many Q&P-concepts have been studied at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe. Thorough investigation of the microstructure has revealed relationships between features such as the amount, morphology and chemical stability of the retained austenite and the obtained mechanical properties. An evaluation of the lattice strain by means of electron-back-scattering-diffraction has also yielded a correlation to the obtained formability. The aim of this work is to present the interconnection between these microstructural features and propose hypotheses for the explanation of how these features influence the macroscopically observed properties.