Tribology in pearlitic steels on the small scale
The goal of the study is to develop a quantitative description for microstructure evolution in pearlitic steel which consists of alternating layers of cementite and ferrite
We conduct micro-asperity experiments (scratching and indentation) on pearlite and cementite samples. After deformation, the microstructure is studied to determine the change in the grain size, texture and depth of deformation. We use high resolution microscopy (scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction analysis, and confocal microscopy). In addition, Atom Probe Tomography (APT) measurements are to be conducted to provide information about the possible dissolution of cementite and diffusion of carbon into the ferrite grain boundaries.
The deformed state is compared to the initial state (e.g. initial microstructure, phase composition) and related to the tribological loading (e.g. deformation direction, and normal force) in order to establish a description of microstructure evolution during tribology at the small scale. By understanding the deformation mechanisms of a single asperity it is possible to fundamentally analyze the tribological behavior of pearlitic steels on the macroscale.