Transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) effect is one of the most prominent ways to enhance mechanical properties in lean compositional steel, with aid of retained austenite(R.A). The performance of retained austenite mostly depends on its carbon concentration, size, shape, and neighboring phases. However, there is no systematic study dedicated to understanding the effect of neighboring phases on the stability of R.A.
The objective of the present study is to clarify the role of neighboring phases on the transformation of R.A during room-temperature deformation. In this study, two kinds of multiphase microstructures were developed, one with ferrite and R.A, and another with ferrite, R.A, and martensite. It was found that the R.A surrounded only by ferrite was transformed at a much faster rate than the R.A surrounded by ferrite and martensite. To explore the reason for the stability of R.A, stress partitioning among the phases was investigated by synchrotron-based in-situ tensile test.