Microstructure–property relation and machine learning prediction of hole expansion capacity of high-strength steels

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Abstract: The relationship between microstructure features and mechanical properties plays an important role in the design of materials and improvement of properties. Hole expansion capacity plays a fundamental role in defining the formability of metal sheets. Due to the complexity of the experimental procedure of testing hole expansion capacity, where many influencing factors contribute to the resulting values, the relationship between microstructure features and hole expansion capacity and the complexity of this relation is not yet fully understood. In the present study, an experimental dataset containing the phase constituents of 55 microstructures as well as corresponding properties, such as hole expansion capacity and yield strength, is collected from the literature. Statistical analysis of these data is conducted with the focus on hole expansion capacity in relation to individual phases, combinations of phases and number of phases. In addition, different machine learning methods contribute to the prediction of hole expansion capacity based on both phase fractions and chemical content. Deep learning gives the best prediction accuracy of hole expansion capacity based on phase fractions and chemical composition. Meanwhile, the influence of different microstructure features on hole expansion capacity is revealed. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]