An overview of the mechanisms, kinetics and crystallography of
austenite formation in rapidly heated steels and Fe-Ni-based alloys is given.
A particular focus is on the morphology of austenite microstructure and the
conditions under which the phenomenon of structural inheritance takes place.
The possible reasons for it are listed and discussed. The effects of rapid heat
treatments on the mechanical properties of steels are briefly addressed and
some examples of industrial applications are provided.