Toughness of ultrafine grained ferritic steels fabricated by ARB and annealing process

Nobuhiro Tsuji, Susumu Okuno, Yuichiro Koizumi, Yoritoshi Minamino

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140 Citations (Scopus)


A plain IF steel and a P-added IF steel having various ultrafine grain sizes from 0.24 to 11 μm were fabricated by the accumulative roll bonding (ARB) process followed by annealing. Dynamic fracture toughness of the ultrafine grained IF steels was investigated as a function of grain size by miniaturized Charpy impact test. The static strength of the IF steels significantly increased with decreasing the grain size, while the uniform elongation was limited in the ultrafine grained samples. A number of delamination appeared in the impact-tested specimens, especially in the ultrafine grained materials at low temperatures. It was concluded that the frequent delamination is not owing to insufficient roll-bonding in the ARB specimens but it is rather a characteristic feature of the ultrafine grained materials fabricated through heavy deformation. Because of the delamination, the absorbed energy in the impact test continuously decreased with decreasing the test temperature. On the other hand, an obvious change from the ductile fracture surface characterized by dimples into the brittle fracture surface mainly due to intergranular fracture was recognized at a certain low temperature. The ductile-brittle transition temperature determined from the microscopic fracture surfaces greatly decreased with decreasing the grain size, and finally no brittle fracture happened even at - 190°C when the grain size was smaller than 5 μm or 2 μm in the plain IF steel or the P-added IF steel, respectively. It was concluded that the ultra-grain refinement is quite effective to improve the low-temperature toughness of ferritic steels and that it is possible to make phosphorus substantially harmless by grain refinement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2272-2281
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Transactions
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jul


  • Dynamic fracture toughness
  • Fracture surface
  • Grain boundary segregation
  • Intergranular embrittlement
  • Interstitial free steel
  • Phosphorus
  • Severe plastic deformation
  • Transition temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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