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If you would like to learn more about steel microstructures and phase changes, you should find an an actual textbook that wasn't written by someone who was strung out on heroin, unlike this one.

 

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Take a perfect male (like me) to symbolize a perfect single phase like hard cementite close to nirvana (and therefore single-crystalline). Take a bunch of male students to embody a less perfect polycrystalline phase of cementite, and a bunch of female students as (yielding and soft) ferrite. What you find in an old-fashioned class room (boys on the left, girls on the right) then would be pearlite. Not a real clean phase but a well-defined mix of two real phases. Martensite would correspond to teenagers, neither here nor there, just a transitory phase on the way to adulthood. Austenite corresponds to kids; capable to change into adults of either sex. Bainite then could be represented by people in a zoo. You get a mix of everything from above including, maybe, some apes (hard to tell from humans without a good microscope).

 

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11 hours ago, Lord_James said:


Do you have any recommendations or authors? 



I've been having a good time with the Knife Steel Nerds blog.  It's a good balance of accessible and technical for me.  The author just wrote a book, which I have purchased but not read.

 

Obviously, it's aimed at knifemakers, but it goes enough into the basic theory of steel that it works for general metallurgy.

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