Many novel, extremely ductile or tough steels exhibit effects such as transformation induced plasticity (TRIP), twinning induced plasticity (TWIP) or transformation toughening. Essential for all these phenomena is the stability of usually finely distributed austenite in ferritic or martensitic matrices. Generally, the stability of the austenite represents the resistance against transformation into hard and brittle martensite.

In that area, MCL's research activities concentrate on the investigation of austenite stability. By means of multi methodical approaches consisting of dilatometry, diffractometry, high resolution imaging methods and mechanical tests we are capable of investigating the effects of the austenite transformation behaviour on toughness, strength and ductility in detail. Additionally, techniques are developed to in-situ evaluate the austenite to martensite transformation by mechanical loading (e.g. in-situ tensile tests).

The results of the stability investigations are then used to develop new alloy systems exploiting the effects named above, according to the application and the resulting mechanical loading.