Microstructure refinement strategies for carburized steel were evaluated to assess their effect on the fatigue performance of case carburized components. Commercial 52100 steel samples were subjected to various treatments and analyzed to determine the micro-geometry of plate martensite and the size distribution of retained-austenite regions. Decreasing reheat temperature produced finer austenite grain size, while multiple reheating cycles helped narrow grain size distribution. The refinement of austenite grain size also led to a reduction in martensite plate size and finer distribution of retained austenite.

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