Ultrastrong low-carbon nanosteel produced by heterostructure and interstitial mediated warm rolling

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Science Advances  23 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 39, eaba8169
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba8169


Ultrastrong materials can notably help with improving the energy efficiency of transportation vehicles by reducing their weight. Grain refinement by severe plastic deformation is, so far, the most effective approach to produce bulk strong nanostructured metals, but its scaling up for industrial production has been a challenge. Here, we report an ultrastrong (2.15 GPa) low-carbon nanosteel processed by heterostructure and interstitial mediated warm rolling. The nanosteel consists of thin (~17.8 nm) lamellae, which was enabled by two unreported mechanisms: (i) improving deformation compatibility of dual-phase heterostructure by adjusting warm rolling temperature and (ii) segregating carbon atoms to lamellar boundaries to stabilize the nanolamellae. Defying our intuition, warm rolling produced finer lamellae than cold rolling, which demonstrates the potential and importance of tuning deformation compatibility of interstitial containing heterostructure for nanocrystallization. This previously unreported approach is applicable to most low-carbon, low-alloy steels for producing ultrahigh strength materials in industrial scale.

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