• TWIP steel;
  • work hardening;
  • dynamic strain ageing;
  • TEM


When strained in tension, high-manganese austenitic twinning induced plasticity (TWIP) steels achieve very high strength and elongation before necking. The main hypotheses available in the literature about the origin of their excellent work hardening include deformation twinning and dynamic strain ageing. In order to provide some answers, various experiments at different scales were conducted on Fe–Mn–C steels and the Fe–28 wt%Mn–3.5 wt%Al–2.8 wt%Si alloy. At a macroscopic scale, tensile tests were performed on all the studied grades. It was shown that, though the Fe–Mn–Al–Si based alloy retains very high elongation, the Fe–Mn–C steels properties are even more extraordinary. Tensile tests at different strain rates with the help of digital image correlation were also performed on the Fe–20 wt%Mn–1.2 wt%C steel to study the PLC effect occurring in this type of steel. It is suggested that supplementary hardening could come from reorientation of Mn–C pairs in the cores of the dislocations. At a microscopic scale, the Fe–20 wt%Mn–1.2 wt%C TWIP steel and the Fe–Mn–Al–Si grade were thoroughly investigated by means of in situ TEM analysis. In the Fe–Mn–C steel, the formed twins could also lead to a composite effect, since they contain plenty of sessile dislocations. In the Fe–Mn–Al–Si alloy, mechanical twins are thicker and contain fewer defects, leading to a lower work hardening than the other grade.