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An Overview of the Heat-Affected Zone Sensitization and Stress Corrosion Cracking Behaviour of 12% Chromium Type 1.4003 Ferritic Stainless Steel

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This document presents an overview of the findings of several investigations into the susceptibility of 12 % chromium type 1.4003 ferritic stainless steel to heat-affected zone sensitization and intergranular stress corrosion cracking. A description of the sensitization behaviour of these steels is complicated by the partial transformation of δ-ferrite to austenite on cooling. During slow cooling or annealing below the A1 temperature, this austenite decomposes to form desensitized ferrite and M23C6-type carbide precipitates. The rapid cooling rates associated with welding, however, prevent the transformation of austenite to ferrite at lower temperatures, and any austenite formed on cooling transforms to martensite below the Ms-temperature. Four distinct modes of heat-affected zone sensitization have been identified to date. Sensitization of the martensite phase may occur on welding material inadvertently annealed above the A1 temperature (Mode 1), or when multiple welds are positioned in such a way that the heat-affected zone of the 2nd pass overlaps the heat-affected zone of the 1st pass (Mode 2). Rapid cooling after very low heat input welding may sensitize the ferrite phase (Mode 3), whereas very slow cooling after welding at excessively high heat input levels may lead to sensitization of the austenite phase (Mode 4). Results examining the influence of Modes 1 and 2 heat-affected zone sensitization on the incidence of intergranular stress corrosion cracking are presented.

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Du Toit, M., Van Rooyen, G.T. & Smith, D. An Overview of the Heat-Affected Zone Sensitization and Stress Corrosion Cracking Behaviour of 12% Chromium Type 1.4003 Ferritic Stainless Steel. Weld World 51, 41–50 (2007).

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  • Corrosion
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  • Ferritic stainless steels
  • Heat affected zone
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  • Stainless steels
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  • Stress corrosion
  • Weld zone