EBSD Analysis of Blocky Structures in Hardened and Tempered Microstructures of a 5 wt.% Cr Cold Work Tool Steel
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

The hardened microstructure of 5 wt.% Cr cold work tool steels is mainly martensitic with significant amount of retained austenite and some undissolved carbides. Whereas the microstructure after tempering shows significant amounts of angular shaped blocky regions, which are interpretated as retained austenite or fresh martensite. The distinction between the phases is difficult due to the morphological similarities. Therefore, the blocky regions are characterized by electron backscatter diffraction to better understand the microstructures. The results showed that the characterisation of blocky structures in the microstructure of a 5 wt.% Cr cold work tool steels varied according to the austenitisation and tempering temperatures as well as the holding time at the tempering temperature. Electron backscatter diffraction of as-quenched microstructures revealed that the blocky structures were either retained austenite, fresh martensite or a combination of large part of fresh martensite with minute amounts of retained austenite. The blocky structures were entirely retained austenite after tempering at 200 °C. Tempering at 525 °C, for holding times of 0.1 or 0.5 h, more blocky regions were retained austenite contrasting to the blocky regions for holding times of 1 or 2 h, which were largely fresh martensite. It was further concluded that electron backscatter diffraction is a suitable technique for characterisation of blocky structures provided that the specimens are prepared by electro-polishing while X-ray diffraction is best suited for a bulk measurement of retained austenite.

Blocky structure

Cold work tool steel




Retained austenite


M. Arbab Rehan


Mattias Thuvander

Chalmers, Fysik, Mikrostrukturfysik

Berne Högman


Per Erik Skogholm


Metallography, Microstructure, and Analysis

2192-9262 (ISSN) 2192-9270 (eISSN)

Vol. 10 6 862-875


Bearbetnings-, yt- och fogningsteknik


Metallurgi och metalliska material



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