The ductility of Q&P 1180 steel was studied with regard to retained austenite transformation under different strain paths. Specimens were tested in uniaxial tension in a standard test frame as well as in situ in the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Then digital image correlation (DIC) was used to compute the effective strain at the level of the individual phases in the microstructure. Stretching experiments were also performed using limiting dome height (LDH) tooling, where specimens were strained in both biaxial and plane strain tension. The experiments were done incrementally, for each strain path, and the retained austenite at each level of strain was measured using electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). Retained austenite levels in the uniaxial tension case dropped from an initial measured level of about 8% to about 2% during an initial strain increment of 0.02, but then stabilized as the specimen was strained to 0.1. In the plane strain and biaxial tension cases retained austenite also dropped significantly during an initial strain increment of about 0.04, but then continued to decrease as the specimens were strained to failure. Biaxial tension, in particular, was the most effective strain path for transforming retained austenite to martensite, resulting in a final volume fraction of 0.3% at an effective strain of 0.3. Retained austenite in the plane-strain tension case dropped at a faster rate than in the biaxial tension case, but finished at about 1% at a strain of 0.1. The greatest limit strains were seen in the biaxial tension case, which may be partly explained by the more effective conversion of retained austenite than was seen in the uniaxial tension case.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





Q&P steels, FLD, AHSS, strain path, retained austenite, in situ, DIC