2003 Volume 43 Issue 5 Pages 684-691
In constant strain rate tests, the occurrence of dynamic recrystallization (DRX) is traditionally identified from the presence of stress peaks in flow curves. However, not all materials display well-defined peaks when tested under these conditions. Using plain carbon, Nb-bearing and 321 austenitic stainless steels, it is shown that the onset of DRX can also be detected from inflections in plots of the strain hardening rate θ against stress σ or, equivalently, from inflections in ln θ-ln σ and ln θ-ε plots regardless the presence of stress peaks in the flow curves. These observations are verified by means of metallography. A unified description of the flow curve is introduced based on normalization of the stress and strain by the respective peak or steady state values. This approach reveals that, in a given material, the ratio of DRX critical stress to the peak or steady state stress is constant, as is that of the critical strain to the corresponding strain values. Furthermore, it is shown that the present technique can be used to establish the occurrence of DRX when this cannot be determined unambiguously from the shape of the flow curve.