Overcoming strength-ductility trade-off via subzero martensitic transformation in medium-Mn lightweight steel

Dae Woong Kim, Sukjin Lee, Seok Su Sohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of subzero martensitic transformation on tensile properties were investigated in an Fe-0.3C-9Mn-5Al-1Si (wt.%) lightweight steel. The microstructure for the hot-rolled state consists of δ-ferrite, bainite, and γ-austenite, while the retained austenite transformed to the lenticular martensite after the subzero-treatment between -30 and -80 °C. Then, nano-sized austenite was reverted inside the lenticular martensite after tempering at 300 °C for 2 h. The fraction of lenticular martensite increased as the subzero-treatment temperature decreases, resulting in the enhanced yield and tensile strengths but the almost maintained tensile elongation. The main fracture mechanism including fracture modes and secondary cracking was almost identical even after the subzero-treatment because it is not directly affected by the lenticular martensite formed during the subzero-treatment. As a result, yield and tensile strengths were simultaneously enhanced without the elongation loss, which provides promising ideas for overcoming the strength-ductility trade-off and for widening their automotive applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114477
JournalScripta Materialia
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Acta Materialia Inc.


  • Lenticular martensite
  • Medium-Mn lightweight steel
  • Reverted austenite
  • Subzero-treatment
  • Transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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