In situ three-dimensional (3-D) X-ray diffraction experiments have been performed at a synchrotron source on low-alloyed multiphase TRIP steels containing 0.25 wt.% Si and 0.44 wt.% Al and produced with different bainitic holding times, in order to assess the influence of the bainitic transformation on the thermal stability of individual austenite grains with respect to their martensitic transformation. A detailed characterization of the austenite grain volume distribution at room temperature was performed as a function of the prior bainitic holding time. In addition, the martensitic transformation behaviour of individual metastable grains was studied in situ during cooling to a temperature of 100 K. Both the carbon content and the grain volume play a key role in the stability of the austenite grains below 15 μm3, while the carbon content exerts the dominant effect in the stability of the bigger grains. Measurements also suggest that the tetragonality of the thermally formed martensite is suppressed. © 2007 Acta Materialia Inc.
- Martensitic phase transformation
- Metastable phases
- Polyphase microstructure
- Synchrotron radiation
- TRIP steels