Article ID: ISIJINT-2019-448
We have fabricated cylindrical single-crystal micropillars with different diameter (d) ranges of 2–3 µm and 5–6 µm on a specific grain in the 18Cr ferritic stainless steel with a ferrite single-phase microstructure. The initial strain rate at the onset of plastic deformation was controlled by variable loading rate in the used nanoindenter. The strain rate sensitivity of the stress required for the slip initiation were examined using the fabricated micropillars. The present compression tests addressed the shear stress on an activated single slip system of micron-scale single-crystals. Smaller-sized micropillars (d = 2–3 µm) often exhibit intermittent strain bursts. The stress for slip initiation (after an elastic loading) changes depending on the initial strain rate, resulting in a high strain rate sensitivity (m) of 0.12. Larger-sized micropillars (d = 5–6 µm) show a continuous yielding. A slight change in their yield stress depending on the initial strain rate provides a relatively low m of 0.04. It is similar to one of the millimeter-sized specimens measured by conventional tensile tests. These results provide new insights to optimize the specimen size for the micropillar compression test applied for the 18Cr ferritic stainless steels.