Ultrafine-grained microstructures can be developed in a variety of alloy steels by coldworking followed by annealing in theα +γ region. Because the annealing temperatures are relatively low and the recrystallized structure is two-phase, grain growth is restricted. Specimens with grain sizes in the range 0.3 to 1.1 μ.m (ASTM 20 to 16) were obtained in manganese and nickel steels by annealing 1 to 400 hr at temperatures between 450° and 650°C (840° to 1200°F). The expected improvement in yield strength through grain refinement was observed in almost all alloys. Other tensile properties depend on factors such as grain size, austenite stability, and specimen geometry, that determine which of three types of plastic behavior will occur. Transformation of austenite during straining improves the mechanical properties of ultrafine-grained specimens.
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Miller, R.L. Ultrafine-grained microstructures and mechanical properties of alloy steels. MT 3, 905–912 (1972). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02647665
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