The correlation of local deformation and stress-assisted local phase transformations in MMC foams
Cellular structures are of growing interest for industry, and are of particular importance for lightweight applications. In this paper, a special case of metal matrix composite foams (MMCs) is investigated. The investigated foams are composed of austenitic steel exhibiting transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) and magnesia partially stabilized zirconia (Mg-PSZ). Both components exhibit martensitic phase transformation during deformation, thus generating the potential for improved mechanical properties such as strength, ductility, and energy absorption capability. The aim of these investigations was to show that stress-assisted phase transformations within the ceramic reinforcement correspond to strong local deformation, and to determine whether they can trigger martensitic phase transformations in the steel matrix. To this end, in situ interrupted compression experiments were performed in an X-ray computed tomography device (XCT). By using a recently developed registration algorithm, local deformation could be calculated and regions of interest could be defined. Corresponding cross sections were prepared and used to analyze the local phase composition by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). The results show a strong correlation between local deformation and phase transformation.