In this investigation, two steels with different chemical compositions were used to study the hardenability of austenite with different alloy content and dispersion in dual-phase steel. The results showed that ferrite carbide aggregate did not form and considerable amount of the austenite present at the intercritical annealing temperatures transformed to martensite even at the cooling rate of 0.01 °C/s (furnace cooling) in the specimens. In dual-phase steels the absence of the carbide formation is unusual at this cooling rate and the critical cooling rates for the martensite formation is so low, compared to the previous studies. It is concluded that without a high quenching power, these steel compositions are suitable for industrial production of dual-phase steel through continuous annealing line of iron and steel plants. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.