skip to main content


Title: Gradient twinned 304 stainless steels for high strength and high ductility

Gradient materials often have attractive mechanical properties that outperform uniform microstructure counterparts. It remains a difficult task to investigate and compare the performance of various gradient microstructures due to the difficulty of fabrication, the wide range of length scales involved, and their respective volume percentage variations. We have investigated four types of gradient microstructures in 304 stainless steels that utilize submicrotwins, nanotwins, nanocrystalline-, ultrafine- and coarse-grains as building blocks. Tensile tests reveal that the gradient microstructure consisting of submicrotwins and nanotwins has a persistent and stable work hardening rate and yields an impressive combination of high strength and high ductility, leading to a toughness that is nearly 50% higher than that of the coarse-grained counterpart. Ex- and in-situ transmission electron microscopy indicates that nanoscale and submicroscale twins help to suppress and limit martensitic phase transformation via the confinement of martensite within the twin lamellar. Twinning and detwinning remain active during tensile deformation and contribute to the work hardening behavior. We discuss the advantageous properties of using submicrotwins as the main load carrier and nanotwins as the strengthening layers over those coarse and nanocrystalline grains. Furthermore, our work uncovers a new gradient design strategy to help metals and alloys achieve highmore » strength and high ductility.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Univ. of Shanghai for Science and Technology, Shanghai (China)
  2. Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou (China)
  3. City Univ. of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (China)
  4. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0921-5093
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344; AC52–07NA27344
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Materials Science and Engineering. A, Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructure and Processing
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 667; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0921-5093
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; gradient materials; nano- and submicro-twins; in-situ TEM; high strength and high ductility; martensitic phase transformation
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1359587