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Fracture Morphologies of Advanced High


Strength Steel During Deformation

Article in Acta Metallurgica Sinica (English Letters) February 2014


DOI: 10.1007/s40195-014-0032-8

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Acta Metall. Sin. (Engl. Lett.), 2014, 27(1), 101106
DOI 10.1007/s40195-014-0032-8

Fracture Morphologies of Advanced High Strength Steel During


Deformation
Ying Sun Xifeng Li Xiangyu Yu Delong Ge Jun Chen Jieshi Chen

Received: 5 September 2013 / Revised: 21 October 2013 / Published online: 28 January 2014
The Chinese Society for Metals and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Abstract The fracture morphologies of several advanced high-strength steels (DP590, DP780, DP980, M1180, and
M1300) formed in uniaxial tension and piercing were observed by scanning electron microscope, and then quantitatively
analyzed by image processing technique. The tension-induced fractographs are dominated by obvious uniform or bimodal
size dimples, while shearing-induced fractographs have smooth surfaces and few dimples. The fracture zone of higher
grade DP steels is smoother. As for M1180 and M1300, the fracture zones consist of very small dimples and smooth brittle
surfaces. The dimple size of M1300(*1.2 lm) is smaller than that of M1180(*1.6 lm). Moreover, in the tensile fracture,
the quantitative correlation between average dimple diameter (d) and tensile strength (r) can be represented by
d = 10,502.32r-1.21. However, the relation between dimple density and tensile strength is not monotonic due to the
appearance of bimodal size dimples with increase of tensile strength. For shearing-induced fracture during piercing, the
fitted empirical model between the percentage of burnish zone (f) and tensile strength can be described as f = 239.9r-0.36.

KEY WORDS: High strength steel; Fracture morphology; Dimple size; Burnish zone; Tensile strength

1 Introduction Some researchers have focused on the study of fracture


morphologies during tensile tests and other forming pro-
In the automotive industry, a lot of efforts are made to cesses. Sun et al. [5] investigated the fracture surfaces of
reduce vehicle weight while maintaining performance and DP600, DP780, and DP980 under tensile loading condi-
cost competitiveness. One such effort is the use of tions. They found that the amount of microvoids near
advanced high strength steels (AHSS) as the primary body fracture surface decreases with increasing strength level. Li
materials, including dual phase, transformation induced et al. [6] studied the SEM fractographs of the in situ tensile
plasticity, complex phase, and martensitic steels [1, 2]. test of Al-6061 samples under different stress states. They
Fracture is a major defect occurred in sheet metal forming observed that in the in situ 0 tensile test, dimple-dominant
due to some factors, such as material property, stress state, fracture occurs; whereas in the in situ 90 test, shear
strain rate, and temperature [3, 4]. Different kinds of fracture occurs and; and in the in situ 45 test, mixed
fracture show different fracture surface morphologies. fracture occurs. Similar findings were also reported by
Agarwal et al. [7]. They found that the void is sensitive to
stress triaxiality and the equivalent plastic strain for
Available online at http://link.springer.com/journal/40195. 6061-aluminum alloy. Das [8] investigated the quantitative
relation between deformation-induced martensite and voids
Y. Sun  X. Li  X. Yu  D. Ge  J. Chen (&)  J. Chen during the tensile deformation of metastable austenitic
Department of Plasticity Technology, School of Materials
stainless steel at various strain rates under ambient tem-
Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200030, China perature. Das et al. [9] also studied the surface morpholo-
e-mail: jun_chen@sjtu.edu.cn gies and dimple geometries after tensile deformation of

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102 Ying Sun et al.: Acta Metall. Sin. (Engl. Lett.), 2014, 27(1), 101106

AISI 304LN stainless steel at various strain rates at room tester with the maximum load capacity of 20 kN. A constant
temperature by image processing technique. The results tensile speed of 2 mm/min was utilized. Strains were mea-
showed that dimple density was high, while dimple sured by an extensometer with a gauge length of 50 mm. The
diameter was smaller at lower strain rate. Enami [10] geometry of the uniaxial tensile specimens is shown in
investigated the fracture surfaces of the round notched Fig. 1. Piercing tests were carried out on a 200T H1F200
tension specimens after compressive and tensile prestrain servo press. The steel sheets were cut into a series of circular
for TMCP steels and hot-rolled SM490B steels. They sheets with a diameter of 100 mm. Figure 2 shows the
found that in the case of TMCP steel tested, completely schematic of experimental setup for the piercing test. The
ductile fracture without a local cleavage crack is observed diameter of punch was 10 mm, and the unilateral clearance
throughout the test for 0, 10% and 30% compressive, and of punch-die was 0.125 mm. The edge radius of both punch
10% tensile prestrain. In the case of SM490B steel tested, and die was 0.05 mm.
local cleavage cracks were observed in 10% and 30% After uniaxial tensile tests and piercing tests, the frac-
compressively prestrain specimen. Yan et al. [11] carried ture surfaces were sawed from the fracture specimens.
out tensile tests of a 980 MPa high strength steel at various Some contaminated fracture surfaces were cleaned with
temperatures to compare the difference of fracture surfaces. acetone ultrasonic cleaner. Then fracture surfaces were
He et al. [12] studied the fracture surfaces of DP1200 and carefully examined under JEOL JSM-7600F scanning
M1200 under the uniaxial tensile test and the cup drawing electron microscope (SEM) to record fractographic fea-
test, respectively. They concluded that the fracture mode of tures. A set of fields were observed at an operating voltage
the DP1200 tension sample is dimple-dominant ductile of 20 kV throughout. After that, fracture surface mor-
fracture, while quasi-cleavage fracture occurs in the tensile phologies were analyzed quantitatively by image process-
test of M1200. Both fracture surfaces of DP1200 and ing of tensile and piercing fractographs. Image processing
M1200 under the cup drawing tests are dominated by is a powerful tool for characterizing the void morphologies
equiaxed dimples. Yu et al. [13] have simulated the frac- [3]. Extensive image processing technique was employed
ture surface in sheet-metal blanking processes to obtain the on the SEM fractographs to characterize the two-dimen-
effect of clearance on the fracture surface quality. Tasan sional geometry of dimples (i.e., dimple diameter and
et al. [14] observed the fracture surface of DP steel spec- dimple number density) on the fracture surfaces using the
imens along different strain paths. They indicated that the software DigitalMicrograph. After implementing several
DP steel shows a through-thickness shear fracture in all image processing operations such as scale calibration,
strain paths, and the fracture surface is completely filled image enhancement, and gray level adjustment, voids on a
with dimples, average size of which is about 3 lm. Overall, fracture surface were detected by the software DigitalMi-
fracture mode of AHSS and the quantitative correlation crograph due to the high degree of contrast between the
between fracture characteristics and tensile strength during dark voids and the brighter peripheries. Tension-induced
deformation reported in the afore-mentioned literature are fractographs of selected materials (DP590 and DP780) and
incomplete and scattered. Therefore, it is necessary to
systematically study the fracture characteristics of typical
AHSS.
In this paper, a series of experiments including uniaxial
tensile tests and piercing tests were carried out based on
commercial DP590, DP780, DP980, M1180, and M1300 to
study their fracture mode and the quantitative correlation Fig. 1 Geometry of the uniaxial tensile specimens (unit: mm)
between fracture morphologies and tensile strength during
deformation.

2 Experimental

Commercially available DP590, DP780, and DP980 dual


phase steel sheets and M1180, M1300 martensitic steel
sheets with a thickness of 1.4 mm supplied by Baosteel were
used in this study. In order to obtain tensile and shearing
fracture surfaces, uniaxial tensile tests and piercing tests
were carried out at room temperature, respectively. Uniaxial
tensile tests were performed on a Zwick/Roell Z020 tensile Fig. 2 Schematic of experimental setup for the piercing test (unit: mm)

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Ying Sun et al.: Acta Metall. Sin. (Engl. Lett.), 2014, 27(1), 101106 103

Fig. 3 SEM images showing the fracture surfaces and the corresponding void networks after image-processing of SEM fractographs: a,
b DP590; c, d DP780

their corresponding dimple network processed through the Table 1 Mechanical properties of five materials at room temperature
image processing technique are given in Fig. 3. At the
Steel Yield strength Tensile strength Elongation
same time, the areas of all the voids were calculated. (MPa) (MPa) (%)
Finally, dimple diameter and dimple number density were
obtained. As for piercing fractographs, the dimple charac- DP590 330 594 26
teristics were not obvious. As is well known, the cutting DP780 497 843 21
edge is made up of four typical bands: rollover, burnish DP980 698 1,003 15
zone, fracture zone, and burr. Therefore, the percentage of M1180 1,075 1,300 13
burnish zone, which is defined as f = h1/H, is used to M1300 1,240 1,470 12
identify the piercing fracture surface feature quantitatively,
where f is the percentage of burnish zone, h1 is the height
of burnish zone, and H is the total height of cutting edges. as shown in Table 1. Tensile strength of the five steel
h1 and H were measured by the software SmileView on the sheets increases from 594 to 1,470 MPa. Representative
SEM fractographs. All the fractographs were analyzed to SEM images of the tension-induced fracture morphology at
obtain an average value. different strength levels are shown in Figs. 3a, c, and 4a, b,
and c. A suitable magnification (91,000) was used in all
cases so that representative fracture features were recorded.
3 Results and Discussion Comparing the five SEM fractographs, the tensile frac-
ture surfaces of DP590 and DP780 (Fig. 3a, c) are domi-
3.1 Correlation Between Tensile Fracture nated by a large number of round or equiaxed dimples,
Characteristics and Tensile Strength which is typical ductile fracture. The average dimple
diameter of DP590 is higher than that of DP780. The cal-
By uniaxial tensile tests, mechanical properties of five high culated value is 4.6 and 2.8 lm, respectively. The dimple
strength steels at room temperature are obtained and listed number density of DP590 and DP780 is estimated as 0.189

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104 Ying Sun et al.: Acta Metall. Sin. (Engl. Lett.), 2014, 27(1), 101106

Fig. 4 SEM images showing the fractographs of tensile fracture surface of DP980 a, M1180 b, M1300 c

and 0.457 lm-2, respectively. Figure 4a, b, and c show the


fracture surfaces of DP980, M1180, and M1300, which
reveal that a large number of smaller dimples mixed with
several larger dimples distribute on the fracture surfaces.
The formation of large-size dimples is related to brittle
particles fracturing and particlematrix decohesion. Similar
findings were also reported by Sun et al. [5, 15]. They
found that the failure in higher grade DP steels was driven
by ferrite/martensite interface decohesion and fracture of
martensite. Moreover, the dimples become shallower with
increasing strength of AHSS.
Based on SEM image processing, the dimple diameter
can be obtained according to the equation as d
2S1 =p1=2 ; where S1 is the area of each dimple. The
dimple number density is estimated as q = n/S, where n
and S are the number of dimples within a SEM fractograph Fig. 5 Variation of average dimple diameter with tensile strength
and the area of a SEM fractograph, respectively. Figure 5
reveals the quantitative relationship between the average
dimple diameter of tensile fracture and tensile strength.
With increase of tensile strength from 594 to 1,470 MPa,
the average dimple diameter (d) decreases from 4.6 to
1.6 lm. The trend curve follows the power function
expression of
d 10502:32r1:21 ; 1
where r is the tensile strength of high strength steel
expressed as MPa. As shown in Fig. 6, when the tensile
strength is below 1,000 MPa, the dimple number density
increases with increase of tensile strength, but the trend
reverses when the tensile strength is above 1,000 MPa.
Such phenomenon is reasonable due to the appearance of
bimodal size dimples with increase of tensile strength.
Fig. 6 Variation of dimple number density with tensile strength
3.2 Correlation Between Piercing Fracture
Characteristics and Tensile Strength Fig. 7. One circular hole with a diameter of 10 mm appears
in the middle of the specimen after piercing.
To compare the piercing surfaces, the piercing tests were There are three stages during the piercing process:
carried out under the same conditions for different mate- elastic deformation stage, plastic deformation stage, and
rials. A specimen after the piercing process is shown in fracture stage. Different materials show different fracture

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Ying Sun et al.: Acta Metall. Sin. (Engl. Lett.), 2014, 27(1), 101106 105

surface characteristics [16]. Figure 8a, c, e, g, and i show each fractographs (at least three parallel data under the
the low magnification fractographs of the cutting edges of same condition), the quantitative relation between the
DP590, DP780, DP980, MS1180, and MS1300, respec- percentage of burnish zone and tensile strength is clearly
tively. The results indicate that the percentage of burnish shown in Fig. 9. It is observed that with increase of tensile
zone of different materials is different. By calculations of strength, the percentage of burnish zone decreases. A fitted
empirical model for describing the data trend is shown in
Fig. 9.
f 239:9r0:36 ; 2
where f is the percentage of burnish zone, and the tensile
strength of advanced high strength steel expressed as MPa.
A similar method has been used to develop an empirical
damage evolution equation [7].
Figure 8b, d, f, h, and j show the high magnification
SEM images of areas A, B, C, D, and E for five materials as
shown in Fig. 8a, c, e, g, and i, respectively. Compared
with tensile fractographs, piercing fractographs are
smoother and have fewer dimples, which results from the
different stress states. Tensile fracture is mainly driven by
tensile stress, while a large degree of shear stress is dom-
inant during the fracture stage of piercing process. As for
DP780 and DP980 (Fig. 8d, f), almost no microvoids
appear on the smooth fracture surface, as other researchers
have observed in the shearing-induced test for Al alloy
6061(T6) [6]. In addition, the fracture surface of higher
grade DP steels is smoother. While for M1180 and M1300
Fig. 7 Photo of a specimen after the piercing test (Fig. 8h, j), the fracture zone consists of very small dimples

Fig. 8 SEM images showing the fractographs of the fractured edge of the piercing sheets and the magnified images of the selected zone which
marked by A, B, C, D, E: a, b DP590; c, d DP780; e, f DP980; g, h MS1180; i, j MS1300

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106 Ying Sun et al.: Acta Metall. Sin. (Engl. Lett.), 2014, 27(1), 101106

phase (DP) steels, tensile fracture surfaces are dom-


inated by dimples, however, piercing fracture surfaces
have smooth surface and few dimples. Moreover, the
fracture zone of higher grade DP steels is smoother.
As for M1180 and M1300, the fracture zones consist
of very small dimples and smooth brittle surfaces.
The dimple size of M1300 (*1.2 lm) is smaller than
that of M1180 (*1.6 lm).

Acknowledgments This work was financially supported by the


National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51105246).

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