Effect of stress on pearlite formation

July 28, 2007

Title: The influence of lattice strain on pearlite formation in Fe–C

Authors: I. Steinbach and M. Apel

Source: Acta Materialia, Volume 55, Issue 14, August 2007, Pages 4817-4822


The effect of stress and strain on the transformation kinetics of pearlite is investigated by phase-field simulation. Strain is considered in terms of expansion/contraction during transformation and due to concentration gradients in austenite. It is demonstrated that due to the concentration dependence of the eigenstrain, an inhomogeneous stress distribution ahead of the transformation front enhances diffusion in the austenitic phase and reduces chemical supersaturation in both austenite and ferrite. The main result of the investigation is that transformation strain inhibits the cooperative growth mode of cementite and ferrite, as considered by the Zener–Hillert model, and provokes the salient growth of cementite needles ahead of the ferrite front, which we call “staggered growth”. The predicted growth velocities give the right order of magnitude compared to the experiment and close the gap between theoretical models based on diffusion only, and experimental observations.


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