The paper demonstrates that a definite and simple relationship exists between ultimate tensile strength (or Brinell hardness) and the carbide size in steels, for a given carbide shape and volume fraction. This is explained on the basis that microvoid initiation, by decohesion at the carbide/matrix interface or by fracture of the carbide itself, is the critical event in the ductile fracture of these materials, and the stress required for microvoid formation may be related to the ultimate tensile strength.

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