An In Situ Synchrotron Dilatometry and Atomistic Study of Martensite and Carbide Formation during Partitioning and Tempering

Ernst Plesiutschnig*, Mihaela Albu, David Canelo Yubero, V. Razumovskiy, Andreas Stark, Norbert Schell, Gerald Kothleitner, Coline Beal, Christof Sommitsch, Ferdinand Hofer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Precipitation hardened and tempered martensitic-ferritic steels (TMFSs) are used in many areas of our daily lives as tools, components in power generation industries, or in the oil and gas (O&G) industry for creep and corrosion resistance. In addition to the metallurgical and forging processes, the unique properties of the materials in service are determined by the quality heat treatment (HT). By performing a quenching and partitioning HT during an in situ high energy synchrotron radiation experiment in a dilatometer, the evolution of retained austenite, martensite laths, dislocations, and carbides was characterized in detail. Atomic-scale studies on a specimen with the same HT subjected to a laser scanning confocal microscope show how dislocations facilitate cloud formation around carbides. These clouds have a discrete build-up, and thermodynamic calculations and density functional theory explain their stability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3849
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021


  • stainless steel; quenching and partitioning heat treatment; martensite; reconstructive ferrite; carbide formation; partitioning and tempering; high-resolution transmission electron microscopy; atomistic study; density functional theory; in-situ synchrotron study
  • Carbide formation
  • In-situ synchrotron study
  • High-resolution transmission electron microscopy
  • Stainless steel
  • Partitioning and tempering
  • Density functional theory
  • Reconstructive ferrite
  • Atomistic study
  • Martensite
  • Quenching and partitioning heat treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


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