Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and electron channeling contrast imaging (ECCI) were used to examine microstructural changes of the austenitic low-density Fe-30.5Mn-8.0Al-1.2C (8Al) and Fe-30.5Mn-2.1Al-1.2C (2Al) (wt.%) steels during cold rolling. As the strain increased, deformation mechanisms, such as stacking faults, slip, mechanical twinning, and shear banding were activated in both steels cold rolled up to strain of 0.69. Only slip was noted in these steels at low strain (ε=0.11) and slip dominance was detected in the 8Al steel at higher strains. Shear banding became active at higher strain (ε~0.7) in these materials. An inhomogeneous microstructure formed in both alloys at such strain level. More extensive mechanical twinning in the 2Al alloy than that in the 8Al alloy was observed. Fish bone-like structure patterns were revealed in the 8Al steel and a river-like structure in the 2Al steel. Detailed microstructure features as elongated and fragmented grains along the rolling direction (RD) were found for both steels, as already observed in other high-Mn steels. These deformed structures are composed by lamellar packets which can contain mechanical twins or slip lines and shear bands.
Austenitic steels; Fe-Mn-C alloys; Fe-Mn-Al-C alloys; Microstructure; EBSD; ECCI; TWIP steels