Stress Induced Phase Transformations in TRIP-Steel / Mg-PSZ Composites
Composite materials and micro- and macrostructure designs have been the focus of numerous scientific studies over the past few years according to their crashworthiness [1-3]. Crashworthiness is concerned with the absorption of energy through controlled failure mechanisms and modes that enable a defined load profile during energy absorption . Cellular materials, such as metal foams, are materials which display a unique combination of physical and mechanical properties, e.g. for crash box applications. The defining characteristic of metal foams is a very high porosity, typically in the range of 70 to 90 vol. %. In principle, cellular metals can be manufactured from gas, liquid or solid phases and currently the most advanced methods involve melt-metallurgical processes . Several groups have produced foam structures by using hollow spheres to form the cells of the material [5, 6]. These materials exhibited plateau stresses of 5 MPa and 23 MPa respectively, with volume specific energy absorptions SEA of 2 MJ/m3 and 10 MJ/m3 respectively, up to 50 % strain [6, 7]. By combining ceramics with ductile metals, failure-tolerant metal matrix composites (MMCs) can be created. With regard to application of the MMCs as wear resistant materials in metal forming tools a prolongation of the life time and the resultant reduced equipment downtimes have been achieved by active steel infiltrating of porous zirconia structures with the aid of Ti as activator . A very promising approach concerning zirconia/steel - composite materials with superior mechanical properties has been demonstrated by Guo et al. using a low-alloyed TRIP steel in combination with an Y-PSZ – ceramic [9, 10]. In a previous study honeycomb structures were formed from composites of high-alloyed austenitic stainless TRIP-steel AISI 304 with Mg-PSZ with different mixing proportions due to ceramic extrusion at room temperature and sintering at 1350 °C for 2 h in an 99.9 % Argon atmosphere . One of the most promising manufacturing route to produce open cell composite foams is based on the patent of Schwartzwalder  by the replication method using polyurethane sponge as a template. The polymer foam is impregnated in a powder slurry (this first coating contributes as an adhesive porous layer for further coating processes), the ceramic slurry is squeezed out of the functional pores and cold spray coatings are applied in order to eliminate defects out of the squeezing process and reach the critical wall thickness for acceptable mechanical properties. In  the authors reported about foams with 90 Vol% high alloyed TRIP-steel and 10 Vol% Mg-PSZ. Up to 50 % compressive strain a remarkable enhancement of the SEA was observed in comparison to comparable structures with TRIP-steel only.
Yves Bréchet, Emmanuel Clouet, Alexis Deschamps, Alphonse Finel and Frédéric Soisson
H. Berek et al., "Stress Induced Phase Transformations in TRIP-Steel / Mg-PSZ Composites", Solid State Phenomena, Vols. 172-174, pp. 709-714, 2011