, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 749-759

Mechanism of work hardening in Hadfield manganese steel

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Abstract

When Hadfield manganese steel in the single-phase austenitic condition was strained in tension, in the temperature range - 25 to 300 °C, it exhibited jerky (serrated) flow, a negative (inverse) strain-rate dependence of flow stress and high work hardening, characteristic of dynamic strain aging. The strain rate-temperature regime of jerky flow was determined and the apparent activation energies for the appearance and disappearance of serrations were found to be 104 kJ/mol and 146 kJ/mol, respectively. The high work hardening cannot be a result of mechanical twinning because at -50 °C numerous twins were produced, but the work hardening was low and no twins were formed above 225 °C even though work hardening was high. The work hardening decreased above 300 °C because of the cessation of dynamic strain aging and increased again above 400 °C because of precipitation of carbides. An apparent activation energy of 138 kJ/mol was measured for static strain aging between 300 and 400 °C, corresponding closely to the activation energies for the disapperance of serrations and for the volume diffusion of carbon in Hadfield steel. Evidence from the present study, together with the known effect of manganese on the activity of carbon in austenite and previous internal friction studies of high-manganese steels, lead to the conclusion that dynamic strain aging, brought about by the reorientation of carbon members of C-Mn couples in the cores of dislocations, is the principal cause of rapid work hardening in Hadfield steel.