Metallurgical Transactions A

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 437–445 | Cite as

Effect of phosphorus on the formation of retained austenite and mechanical properties in Si-containing low-carbon steel sheet

  • H. C. Chen
  • H. Era
  • M. Shimizu
Mechanical Behavior


The effect of phosphorus and silicon on the formation of retained austenite has been investigated in a low-carbon steel cold rolled, intercritically annealed, and isothermally held in a temperature range of bainitic transformation followed by air cooling. The steel sheet containing phosphorus after final heat-treatment consisted of ferrite, retained austenite, and bainite or martensite. Phosphorus, especially in the presence of silicon, in steel was useful to assist the formation of retained austenite. Mechanical properties, such as tensile strength, uniform elongation, and the combination of tensile strength/ductility, were improved when phosphorus was increased up to 0.07 pct in 0.5 pct Si steel. This could be attributed to the strain-induced transformation of retained austenite during tensile deformation. Furthermore, two types of retained austenite were observed in P-containing steel. One is larger than about 1 μm in size and usually exists adjacent to bainite; the other one is of submicron size and usually exists in a ferrite matrix. High phosphorus content promotes the formation of stable (small size) austenites which are considered to be stabilized mainly by their small size effect and have a different formation mechanism from the coarser retained austenite in the lower P steels. The retained austenites of submicron size showed mechanical stability even after 10 pct deformation, suggesting that these small austenites have little effect on ductility. The 0.07 pct P-0.5 pct Si-1.5 pct Mn-0.12 pct C steel showed a high strength of 730 MPa and a total elongation of 36 pct.


Ferrite Austenite Martensite Metallurgical Transaction Cementite 
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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. C. Chen
    • 1
  • H. Era
    • 2
  • M. Shimizu
    • 2
  1. 1.R&D DepartmentChina Steel CorporationKaohsiungTaiwan, Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Metallurgy, Faculty of EngineeringKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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