MULTI-SCALE INVERTIGATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MICROSTRUCTURE AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES IN DUAL PHASE STEELS
Zhang, Fan Zhang
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Dual phase steel alloys belong to the first generation of advanced high strength steels that are widely used in the automotive industry to form body structure and closure panels of vehicles. A deeper understanding of the microstructural features, such as phase orientation and morphology are needed in order to establish their effect on the mechanical performance and to design a material with optimized attributes. In this work, our goal is to establish what kind of relationship exist between the mechanical properties and the microstructural representation of dual phase steels obtained from experimental observations. Microstructure in different specimens are characterized with advanced experimental techniques as optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, electron backscatter diffraction pattern, scanning probe microscopy, and nanoindentation. Nanoindentation, Vickers hardness and tensile testing are conducted to reveal a multi-scale mechanical performance on original material and also specimens under a variety combinations of temperatures, cooling rates, and rolling conditions. To quantify the single phase properties in each sample, an inverse method is adopted using experimental nanoindentation load-depth curves to obtain tensile stress-strain curves for each phase, and the inverse results were verified with the true stress-strain curves from tensile tests. This work also provides the insight on spatial phase distribution of different phases through a 2-point correlation statistical methodology and relate to material strength and formability. The microstructure information is correlated with the results of mechanical tests. The broken surfaces from tensile testing are analyzed to discover the fracture mechanism in relation to martensite morphology and distribuion. Viscoplastic self-consistent fast Fourier Transformation simulations is also used to compute efficiently the local and the homogenized viscoplastic response of the polycrystalline microstructure. The specific objectives of this work are 1) the development of etching techniques and electron backscatter diffraction strategies to characterize ferrite and martensite phases in steel; 2) the uncovering of a relationship between strength/ductility and material microstructure, 3) a statistical description to quantify the spatial distributions of these phases; and finally 4) the simulation of the microstructural evolution using parameters obtained from the experiments.