One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A hard and very brittle solid solution of carbon in iron that is the main constituent of hardened steel.
- ‘The martensite of quenched tool steel is exceedingly brittle and highly stressed.’
- ‘Trip steels have a microstructure with retained austenite, ferrite and martensite.’
- ‘During this heat treatment all of the austenite transforms to martensite.’
- ‘With hardening of steels, by chilling after previous heating, the structure is converted from austenite to martensite.’
- ‘The ability of steel to form martensite on quenching is referred to as the hardenability.’
Late 19th century: named after Adolf Martens (1850–1914), German metallurgist, + -ite.
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