Analysis of Hardening Mechanisms in a Low-Carbon Steel by Microscopy-Spectroscopy and Nanoindentation Techniques




Abstract: The influence of the hardening mechanisms by solid-solution and grain size on the ferrite nanohardness was analyzed in a low-carbon steel. A low-carbon steel alloyed was used to determine the effect of the composition on the ferrite nanohardness. The surface of each specimen was polished by vibration with colloidal silica suspension to obtain stress-free surfaces with minimal residual strain. The specimens were analyzed by nanoindentation, acquiring load-displacement curves, nanohardness and residual footprints by Scanning Probe Microscopy. Subsequently, an analysis by Scanning Electron Microscopy was performed using an integrated EPMA with EDS to determine the composition and elemental distribution in the ferrite grains. The nanohardness was classified according to the indentation zone: center or edge, correlating the nanohardness with the hardening mechanisms and composition.

Authors: A. Oliver-Reynoso, O. Vázquez-Gómez, A.I. Gallegos-Pérez, B. Campillo, E. López-Martínez, and H.J. Vergara-Hernández

Keywords: Solid-Solution Hardening, Nanoindentation, Spectroscopy

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8 pages


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