Intersections of shear bands in metastable austenites have been shown to be effective sites for strain-induced martensitic nucleation. The shear bands may be in the form of ε' (hcp) martensite, mechanical twins, or dense bundles of stacking faults. Assuming that shear-band intersection is the dominant mechanism of strain-induced nucleation, an expression for the volume fraction of martensite vs plastic strain is derived by considering the course of shear-band formation, the probability of shear-band intersections, and the probability of an intersection generating a martensitic embryo. The resulting transformation curve has a sigmoidal shape and, in general, approaches saturation below 100 pct. The saturation value and rate of approach to saturation are determined by two temperature-dependent parameters related to the fee-bee chemical driving force and austenite stacking-fault energy. Fitting the expression to available data on 304 stainless steels gives good agreement for the shape of individual transformation curves as well as the temperature dependence of the derived parameters. It is concluded that the temperature dependence of the transformation kinetics (an important problem in the development of TRIP steels) may be minimized by decreasing the fee, bec, and hep entropy differences through proper compositional control.
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