2014 Volume 54 Issue 7 Pages 1719-1728
It is known that a cracking of brittle phase such as cementite works as a trigger of cleavage fracture initiation. This study shows a microscopic observation of cracked cementite and its quantitation of the cracking nucleation in ferrite-cementite steels. Seven steels with various sizes of microstructures are produced by laboratory scale vacuum melting and rolling. The cementite particle thickness was measured by a SEM observation and an image analysis. Tensile tests using circumferential notched round bar specimens were conducted. A trace analysis of cleavage surface of cementite using the EBSD analysis indicated a possibility that the cleavage surface coincides with (010) plane. Distributions of cementite particle crack lengths were measured for various strain and stress conditions. In order to understand a microscopic internal stress of cementite particle, a finite element analysis was carried out. An estimation formula of internal stress of the cementite particle from macroscopic stress and strain was developed based on the numerical results. A nucleation of cementite cracking should be quantitated based on a stochastic framework because of its uncertainties such as distribution, shape, orientation and so on. The measured distributions of cementite particle thickness and crack length were approximated by introducing a distribution function considering upper limit. Probability of nucleation of cementite cracking was formulated as a function of cementite particle thickness and macroscopic stress and strain, based on the approximated distribution function and the estimation formula of internal stress of the cementite particle.