The activities in the field of Advanced Steels (Department of Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Steels, Department of Microstructural Engineering of Steels and Department of Diffusion and Transformation Processes in Metallic Systems) concentrate on the research of the formation and development of the microstructure of steels during thermal and thermo-deformation treatment. The aim is to analyse and define the influence of the microstructure and chemical composition on strength, deformation and fracture properties, including life-time and reliability predictions of steels under various operational conditions.
The research areas of the group involve:
a) grain boundary motion phenomena, thermal and deformation activated grain growth processes, kinetics of microstructure development, interaction of grain boundary with secondary phases and alloying elements, dynamic and static recovery, recrystallization after hot and cold rolling processes. A novel technology route is under development for texture and microstructure control in multi-layered low carbon steels;
b) the analysis of stress-strain processes in various microstructures and theoretical problems of fracture mechanics of mono- and multi-phase steels and gradient type (coated) steels. The influence of severe plastic deformation on the strength, plastic and fracture properties of nanostructures is also studied;
c) the diffusion and transformation processes at the inner surfaces and boundaries, focused on the segregation and precipitation phenomena that influence the change of properties after heat treatment, long-term thermal exposure, creep, welding, etc. The mechanisms of material degradation, e.g. embrittlement, creep damage, weld joint premature fractures, are also studied.
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