Origin and propagation of splits in high-strength low-alloy strip steel

R. Punch, M. Strangwood, Claire Davis

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10 Citations (Scopus)


A high-strength strip steel (yield strength of ∼700 MPa) with a ductile-brittle transition over a wide temperature range shows splits (fissures) on the fracture surfaces in the upper transition region. The steel, hot rolled to strip thicknesses of approximately 10.0 mm and 16.8 mm, had a predominantly fine-grained ferrite microstructure with some coarse grain patches (area percent of 11 pct and 42 pct, respectively). Low-blow Charpy tests were carried out at room temperature, corresponding to the upper transition region for these strips. The low-blow tests resulted in the formation of splits without main crack propagation from the notch; therefore, the energies at which the splits initiated could be determined. Acoustic emission (AE) sensors were used during low-blow Charpy testing of the strip steels and mild steel (where no splits occur); it was found that AE was able to detect signals from the hammer impact, split formation, and ductile deformation. Optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray tomography were carried out, which verified the presence of splits and showed that they propagated by transgranular cleavage, preferentially following coarse-grained regions. No significant difference in the number or length of splits between the 10- and 16.8-mm strip was observed, but the 10-mm strip did produce deeper splits during the low-blow Charpy testing. The deeper splits contribute to a lower impact transition temperature for the 10-mm strip material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4622-4632
Number of pages11
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012

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