, Volume 17, Issue 10, pp 3009-3016

Influence of heat treatment on the strength and fracture behaviour of Fe-12Cr-6Al ferritic stainless steel

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The changes in the tensile properties and fracture mode brought about by heat treatment of Fe-12Cr-6Al ferritic stainless steel have been studied. A favourable combination of high strength and good ductility is obtained by heating the material at 1370 K for 2 h followed by a water quench. The high-temperature treatment results in carbide dissolution as well as an increase in the grain size. The mechanism of strengthening has been evaluated from the apparent activation energy (28 kJ mol−1) and is identified to be the unpinning of dislocations from the atmosphere of carbon atoms. As the heat-treatment temperature is increased, the fracture behaviour changes from ductile to brittle mode and this is related to the changes in grain size and friction stress.