Isothermal martensite formation at sub-zero temperatures

Allan Stojko, Mikkel Fougt Hansen, Jan Slycke, Marcel A. J. Somers

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Sub-zero treatment of steels with an M1 below 0°C relies (partly) on a continuation of the martensite formation. The present work reports on the observation of isothermal martensite formation in the sub-zero temperature regime for two steels: AISI 1070 and AISI 52100. Samples were austenitized, quenched in oil, and thereafter investigated with vibrating sample magnetometry, which allows a quantitative assessment of the fraction of retained austenite as a function of the sub-zero temperature and time. Isothermal martensite formation was observed on interrupting the continuous cooling (5 K/min) at temperatures in the range of 80-233 K. The kinetics of isothermal martensite formation depends strongly on the temperature and can be described by Johnson-Mehl-Avrami-Kolmogorov kinetics. Isothermal experiments with dilatometry indicated the occurrence of a volume increase on isothermal holding, consistent with a continuation of the martensitic transformation. On prolonged isothermal holding, a volume reduction was observed for AISI 52100, but not for AISI 1070. Copyright © 2011.
Original languageEnglish
JournalA S T M International. Journal
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)JAI103459
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Sub-zero treatment
  • Magnetometry
  • Isothermal martensite
  • Dilatometry


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