Recently, Fe-Mn twinning-induced plasticity steels with an austenite phase have been the course of great interest due to their excellent combination of tensile strength and ductility, which carbon steels have never been able to attain. Nevertheless, twinning-induced plasticity steels also exhibit a trade-off between strength and ductility, a longstanding dilemma for physical metallurgists, when fabricated based on the two alloy design parameters of stacking fault energy and grain size. Therefore, we investigated the tensile properties of three Fe-Mn austenitic steels with similar stacking fault energy and grain size, but different carbon concentrations. Surprisingly, when carbon concentration increased, both strength and ductility significantly improved. This indicates that the addition of carbon resulted in a proportionality between strength and ductility, instead of a trade-off between those characteristics. This new design parameter, C concentration, should be considered as a design parameter to endow Fe-Mn twinning-induced plasticity steel with a better combination of strength and ductility.
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