Ductile-to-Brittle Transition and Brittle Fracture Stress of Ultrafine-Grained Low-Carbon Steel

Materials (Basel). 2021 Mar 26;14(7):1634. doi: 10.3390/ma14071634.


Ductile-to-brittle transition (DBT) temperature and brittle fracture stress, σF, are important toughness criteria for structural materials. In this paper, low-carbon steels with an ultrafine elongated grain (UFEG) structure (transverse grain size 1.2 μm) and with two ferrite (α)-pearlite structure with grain sizes 10 µm and 18 µm were prepared. The UFEG steel was fabricated using multipass warm biaxial rolling. The tensile tests with a cylindrical specimen and three-point bending tests with a single-edge-notched specimen were performed at -196 °C. The local stress near the notch was quantitatively calculated via finite element analysis (FEA). The σF for each sample was quantified based on the experimental results and FEA. The relationship between σF and dα in the wide range of 1.0 μm to 138 μm was plotted, including data from past literature. Finally, the conditions of grain size and temperature that cause DBT fracture in low-carbon steel were shown via the stress-d-1/2 map. The results quantitatively showed the superiority of α grain size for brittle fracture.

Keywords: brittle fracture stress; finite element analysis; fracture test; low-carbon steels; ultrafine grained microstructure.