Multi-probe microstructure tracking during heat treatment without an in-situ setup: Case studies on martensitic steel, dual phase steel and beta-Ti alloy

TitleMulti-probe microstructure tracking during heat treatment without an in-situ setup: Case studies on martensitic steel, dual phase steel and beta-Ti alloy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsZhang, J, Morsdorf, L, Tasan, CC
JournalMaterials Characterization
Volume111
Pagination137 - 146
Date Published2016/01//
Abstract

In-situ scanning electron microscopy observations of the microstructure evolution during heat treatments are increasingly demanded due to the growing number of alloys with complex microstructures. Post-mortem characterization of the as-processed microstructures rarely provides sufficient insight on the exact route of the microstructure formation. On the other hand, in-situ SEM approaches are often limited due to the arising challenges upon using an in-situ heating setup, e.g. in (i) employing different detectors, (ii) preventing specimen surface degradation, or (iii) controlling and measuring the temperature precisely. Here, we explore and expand the capabilities of the "mid-way" solution by step-wise microstructure tracking, ex-situ, at selected steps of heat treatment. This approach circumvents the limitations above, as it involves an atmosphere and temperature well-controlled dilatometer, and high resolution microstructure characterization (using electron channeling contrast imaging, electron backscatter diffraction, atom probe tomography, etc.). We demonstrate the capabilities of this approach by focusing on three cases: (i) nano-scale carbide precipitation during low-temperature tempering of martensitic steels, (ii) formation of transformation-induced geometrically necessary dislocations in a dual-phase steel during intercritical annealing, and (iii) the partial recrystallization of a metastable beta-Ti alloy. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc All rights reserved.