Combined nano-SIMS/AFM/EBSD analysis and atom probe tomography, of carbon distribution in austenite/ε-martensite high-Mn steels

Jae-Bok Seol, B-H Lee, P Choi, S-G Lee, C-G Park
Ultramicroscopy 2013, 132: 248-57
We introduce a new experimental approach for the identification of the atomistic position of interstitial carbon in a high-Mn binary alloy consisting of austenite and ε-martensite. Using combined nano-beam secondary ion mass spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and electron backscatter diffraction analyses, we clearly observe carbon partitioning to austenite. Nano-beam secondary ion mass spectroscopy and atom probe tomography studies also reveal carbon trapping at crystal imperfections as identified by transmission electron microscopy. Three main trapping sites can be distinguished: phase boundaries between austenite and ε-martensite, stacking faults in austenite, and prior austenite grain boundaries. Our findings suggest that segregation and/or partitioning of carbon can contribute to the austenite-to-martensite transformation of the investigated alloy.

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