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Metal Science and Heat Treatment
ArticleName Assessment of the strength characteristics of steels after thermomechanical treatment based on a neural network analysis of microstructures digital photographs
ArticleAuthor A. V. Klyuev, V. Yu. Stolbov, N. V. Koptseva, Yu. Yu. Efimova

Perm National Research Polytechnic University (Perm, Russia) :

A. V. Klyuev, Cand. Phys.-Math., Associate Prof., Dept. of Computational Mathematics, Mechanics, and Biomechanics, e-mail:
V. Yu. Stolbov, Dr. Eng., Head of Dept. of Computational Mathematics, Mechanics and Biomechanics, e-mail:

Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University (Magnitogorsk, Russia):

N. V. Koptseva, Dr. Eng., Professor, Dept. of Foundry Processes and Materials Science, e-mail:
Yu. Yu. Efimova, Cand. Eng., Associate Prof., Dept. of Materials Processing Technologies, e-mail:


Currently, the creation of new functional materials is an urgent task of modern materials science. The selection of the chemical composition and methods of thermal and thermomechanical processing, which lead to the creation of new steels with desired properties, require significant time and financial costs for research and preparation of the production technology for such materials. In this case, the analysis of microstructure images, which makes it possible to predict the spectrum of the mechanical properties of the material, is of particular importance. In order to increase the efficiency and objectivity of the properties identification, it is necessary to use up-to-date mathematical methods of data processing and artificial intelligence algorithms to solve the Iss.s of classification and identification of the material microstructure. The work explores the capabilities of artificial neural networks and deep machine learning to predict the mechanical properties of steels after various deformation and thermal actions based on the neural network analysis of microstructures images. A description of the constructed database of marked-up digital photographs of steel microstructures used in deep training of neural networks is given. It is shown that the rather popular deep neural VGG network with high accuracy solves the task of classifying the microstructures of various steels according to the hardness of the material. The results of processing the initial information by the deep neural ResNet network are presented and a comparison of the results with experimental data is given. The achieved accuracy allows to use the trained network as a core of an intelligent system for the integrated assessment of strength properties of functional and structural materials. The lack of large data arrays of marked-up digital photographs of the microstructures of various materials necessary for the training and testing of convolutional neural networks is one of the obstacles to the widespread use of neural network modeling in the field of material science. Therefore, the results obtained can be considered as an important step in the direction of the development of digital technologies when creating functional metallic materials with a given set of mechanical characteristics.
This work was carried out as a part of the implementation of the federal target program “Research and Development in Priority Directions for the Development of the Russian Science and Technology Complex for 2014–2020”. Unique identifier of the project is RFMEFI58617X0055.

keywords Digital technologies, deep neural networks, the base of the steel microstructure digital images, machine learning, classification of microstructures images, assessment of strength properties

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