A study of nonisothermal austenite formation and decomposition in Fe-C-Mn alloys

E. Schmidt, Y. Wang, S. Sridhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Experiments using a hot-stage confocal scanning laser microscope (CSLM) have been carried out to observe phase transformations in two steels: Si-killed resulfurized Fe-0.38 wt pct C-1.43 wt pct Mn and Al-killed Fe-0.20 wt pct C-0.87 wt pct Mn. Austenite formation during continuous heating was investigated on the surface of samples that were etched to reveal the ferrite and pearlite regions. It was found that the austenite precipitated first at the pearlite colonies and subsequently in the ferrite phase. The measured advance rates of the γ/pearlite front were roughly twice those of the γ/α front and both interfaces were found to be curved. The γ/pearlite migration rate was found to be in qualitative agreement with published rate equations for isokinetic austenite formation where diffusion is the rate-limiting step. Austenite decomposition was studied during cooling. Widmanstätten ferrite laths precipitate as distinct colonies from the existing allotriomorphic ferrite phase but then also at MnS precipitates. The electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis showed that all of the laths in a particular colony exhibit similar orientation to one another but a slightly different orientation than the parent allotriomorph, supporting a sympathetic nucleation mechanism. The growth rate of the laths was found to vary widely within a range of 1.5 to 11 μm/s. The ferrite formation is finally halted by impingement with other advancing fronts. The results are presented in a phenomological discussion, with some quantitative analysis of the transformation kinetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1799-1810
Number of pages12
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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