Martensitic Transformations in Steels : A 3D Phase-field Study

Sammanfattning: Martensite is considered to be the backbone of the high strength of many commercial steels. Martensite is formed by a rapid diffusionless phase transformation, which has been the subject of extensive research studies for more than a century. Despite such extensive studies, martensitic transformation is still considered to be intriguing due to its complex nature. Phase-field method, a computational technique used to simulate phase transformations, could be an aid in understanding the transformation. Moreover, due to the growing interest in the field of “Integrated computational materials engineering (ICME)”, the possibilities to couple the phase-field method with other computational techniques need to be explored. In the present work a three dimensional elastoplastic phase-field model, based on the works of Khachaturyan et al. and Yamanaka et al., is developed to study the athermal and the stress-assisted martensitic transformations occurring in single crystal and polycrystalline steels. The material parameters corresponding to the carbon steels and stainless steels are considered as input data for the simulations. The input data for the simulations is acquired from computational as well as from experimental works. Thus an attempt is made to create a multi-length scale model by coupling the ab-initio method, phase-field method, CALPHAD method, as well as experimental works. The model is used to simulate the microstructure evolution as well as to study various physical concepts associated with the martensitic transformation. The simulation results depict several experimentally observed aspects associated with the martensitic transformation, such as twinned microstructure and autocatalysis. The results indicate that plastic deformation and autocatalysis play a significant role in the martensitic microstructure evolution. The results indicate that the phase-field simulations can be used as tools to study some of the physical concepts associated with martensitic transformation, e.g. embryo potency, driving forces, plastic deformation as well as some aspects of crystallography. The results obtained are in agreement with the experimental results. The effect of stress-states on the stress-assisted martensitic microstructure evolution is studied by performing different simulations under different loading conditions. The results indicate that the microstructure is significantly affected by the loading conditions. The simulations are also used to study several important aspects, such as TRIP effect and Magee effect. The model is also used to predict some of the practically important parameters such as Ms temperature as well as the volume fraction of martensite formed. The results also indicate that it is feasible to build physically based multi-length scale model to study the martensitic transformation. Finally, it is concluded that the phase-field method can be used as a qualitative aid in understanding the complex, yet intriguing, martensitic transformations.