We study orientation gradients and geometrically necessary dislocations (GNDs) in two ultrafine grained dual-phase steels with different martensite particle size and volume fraction (24 vol.% and 38 vol.%). The steel with higher martensite fraction has a lower elastic limit, a higher yield strength and a higher tensile strength. These effects are attributed to the higher second phase fraction and the inhomogeneous transformation strain accommodation in ferrite. The latter assumption is analyzed using high-resolution electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). We quantify orientation gradients, pattern quality and GND density variations at ferrite-ferrite and ferrite-martensite interfaces. Using 3D EBSD, additional information is obtained about the effect of grain volume and of martensite distribution on strain accommodation. Two methods are demonstrated to calculate the GND density from the EBSD data based on the kernel average misorientation measure and on the dislocation density tensor, respectively. The overall GND density is shown to increase with increasing total martensite fraction, decreasing grain volume, and increasing martensite fraction in the vicinity of ferrite. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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