Stabilization of retained austenite due to partial martensitic transformations

Z. L. Xie*, Y. Liu, Hannu Hänninen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The stabilization effect of retained austenite has been studied using FeNiC alloys with Ms temperatures below 0°C via a two-step cooling procedure, i.e. the samples were first cooled to a temperature (Ta) below Ms temperature and then heated to room temperature (RT), after being held at RT for a while, the samples were recooled to low temperatures (23 or 82 K) and then heated to RT. It was found that, during the second step of cooling, the martensitic transformation occurred at a temperature of Ms′ which was lower than Ta. With increasing the amount of martensite formed during the first cooling, the difference in the martensitic transformation starting temperatures, ΔMs = Ms - Ms′, increased. The mechanism of the stabilization of retained austenite during the second step of cooling is proposed to be mainly due to the inhibition effect produced by the previously formed martensite. The aging processes, which retard the growth of the previously formed martensite plates and reduce the number of the available nucleation sites, are the necessary conditions for the above mechanism to operate. By simplifying the internal resisting stress acting on the retained austenite due to the existence of martensite phase as a hydrostatic compressive stress, which increases with increasing the amount of martensite, the change in ΔMs is discussed from a thermodynamic point of view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4117-4133
Number of pages17
JournalActa Metallurgica et Materialia
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1994
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • martensitic transformations
  • retained austenite
  • stabilization

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