The role of carbon in the white etching crack phenomenon in bearing steels

Since white etching crack (WEC) phenomena primarily occur in steels containing high amounts of carbon, we specifically elucidate the role of carbon in this failure mechanism in bearings [1]. The nano-crystalline ferritic regions that make up the white etching area (WEA) are formed by means of fracture surface rubbing leading to a complete decomposition of the initial microstructure by severe plastic deformation. In order to analyze local carbon concentrations on different length scales we employ electron probe microanalysis, transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography.

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