Austenite and Martensite, in steel, refers to the microstructure of steel at the atomic level. During the tempering process or cooling, Austenite is transformed into Martensite. The ideal wear resistant steel would have a combination of retained Austenite as well as some transformed Martensite.
Austenitic steels have modest strength, good impact properties, are easier to form and weld, have good corrosion resistance and are non-magnetic.
Martensite has very high strength, lower impact properties, lower corrosion resistance, is more difficult to form and weld, and is magnetic.
AR 400, 500 and 600 steels are heat treated at high temperatures and rapidly quenched or cooled by water, thereby converting most of the Austenite into Martensite.
ENDURA Steel is the only wear resistant steel that can “work-harden’ from 430 BHN to 560 BHN, and which has a homogenous microstructure to resist tearing and shearing.
This steel has a combination of Austenite and Martensite – which is the ideal wear resistant steel. This is achieved by slowly cooling the steel in oil, not water, which helps retain some of the Austenite.
Another reason for retaining some Austenite is for continued transformation into Martensite during impact or straining while in service. This is known as the TRIP EFFECT of ENDURA, whereby the more it is impacted, the harder it gets. Hit it once, it gets harder, hit it again, it gets even harder.