Influence of martensite composition and content on the properties of dual phase steels

A study has been made of the mechanical properties of dual phase (martensite plus ferrite) structures produced when Fe-Mn-C alloys are quenched from the austenite plus ferrite phase field, so as to give a series of alloys with constant ferrite and martensite compositions but varying percent martensites. It is found that the strength of a dual phase structure is dependent on the ferrite grain size and the volume fraction of martensite, and is independent of the composition and strength of the martensite. In agreement with previous work the ductility of these steels is superior to that for standard HSLA steels at the same tensile strength. As shown in a previous paper the strength and ductility as a function of percent martensite are in agreement with Mileiko’s theory of composites of two ductile phases. This theory and the results indicate that the superior ductility of dual phase steels is largely a consequence of the high strength (fine grained), highly ductile (low interstitial content) ferrite matrix.