High Manganese and Aluminum Steels for the Military and Transportation Industry


Lightweight advanced high strength steels (AHSS) with aluminum contents between 4 and 12 weight percent have been the subject of intense interest in the last decade because of an excellent combination of high strain rate toughness coupled with up to a 17% reduction in density. Fully austenitic cast steels with a nominal composition of Fe-30%Mn-9%Al-0.9%C are almost 15% less dense than quenched and tempered Cr-Mo steels (SAE 4130) with equivalent strengths and dynamic fracture toughness. This article serves as a review of the tensile and high-strain-rate fracture properties associated mainly with silicon additions to this base composition. In the solution-treated condition, cast steels have high work-hardening rates with elongations up to 64%, room-temperature Charpy V-notch (CVN) impact energies up to 200 J, and dynamic fracture toughness over 700 kJ/m2. Silicon additions in the range of 0.59–1.56% Si have no significant effect on the mechanical properties of solution-treated steels but increased the tensile strength and hardness during aging. For steels aged at 530°C to an average hardness of 310 Brinell hardness number, HBW, increasing the amount of silicon from 1.07% to 1.56% decreased the room temperature CVN breaking energy from 92 J to 68 J and the dynamic fracture toughness from 376 kJ/m2 to 265 kJ/m2. Notch toughness is a strong function of phosphorus content, decreasing the solution-treated CVN impact toughness from 200 J in a 0.006% P steel to 28 J in a 0.07% P steel. For age-hardened steels with 1% Si, increasing levels of phosphorus from 0.001% to 0.043% decreased the dynamic fracture toughness from 376 kJ/m2 to 100 kJ/m2.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Aluminum; Fracture; Hardening; High strength steel; Manganese; Mechanical properties; Phosphorus; Silicon; Steel castings; Steel metallurgy; Strain hardening; Strain rate; Tensile strength; Advanced high strength steel; Austenitic cast steels; Dynamic fracture toughness; Equivalent strength; Properties of solutions; Solution treated conditions; Transportation industry; Work hardening rate; Fracture toughness

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1047-4838; 1543-1851

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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Publication Date

01 Sep 2014