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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name



Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Susil K. Putatunda


Austempered Ductile Cast Iron is emerging as an important engineering materials in recent years because of its excellent combination of mechanical properties such as high strength with good ductility, good fatigue strength and fracture toughness together with excellent wear resistance. These combinations of properties are achieved by the microstructure consisting of acicular ferrite and high carbon austenite. Refining of the ausferritic microstructure will further enhance the mechanical properties of ADI and the presence of proeutectoid ferrite in the microstructure will considerably improve the ductility of the material.

Thus, the focus of this investigation was to develop nanostructured austempered ductile cast iron (ADI) consisting of proeutectoid ferrite, bainitic ferrite and high carbon austenite and to determine its microstructure-property relationships. Compact tension and cylindrical tensile test samples were prepared as per ASTM standards, subjected to various heat treatments and the mechanical tests including the tensile tests, plane strain fracture toughness tests, hardness tests were performed as per ASTM standards. Microstructures were characterized by optical metallography, X-ray diffraction, SEM and TEM.

Nanostructured ADI was achieved by a unique heat treatment consisting of austenitization at a high temperature and subsequent plastic deformation at the same austenitizing temperature followed by austempering. The investigation also examined the effect of cryogenic treatment, effect of intercritical austenitizing followed by single and two step austempering, effect of high temperature plastic deformation on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the low alloyed ductile cast iron. The mechanical and thermal stability of the austenite was also investigated. An analytical model has been developed to understand the crack growth process associated with the stress induced transformation of retained austenite to martensite.

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