Low-Temperature Nitridation of 2205 Duplex Stainless Steel

  • J. C. DaltonEmail author
  • F. Ernst
  • A. H. Heuer


Low-temperature gas-phase nitridation has been studied in \(\updelta \)-ferrite in 2205 duplex stainless steel. High-resolution spatially-resolved compositional and structural analysis revealed two competitive responses to nitridation. Some regions revealed a nitrogen atom fraction approaching 25 at. pct—greater than \(10^6\) times the equilibrium solubility limit at room temperature. Remarkably, there is no expansion or distortion of the body-centered cubic lattice. This is similar to the response of \(\updelta \)-ferrite in this alloy to low-temperature carburization. In conventional transmission electron microscopy bright-field images, the supersaturated ferrite grains show no diffraction contrast—resembling the appearance of amorphous structures—suggesting an unusually high defect density. These grains exhibit spinodal decomposition of the ferrite to nanometer-scale Fe-rich and Cr-rich ferrite domains. High-resolution imaging reveals pristine Fe-rich nanocrystals, whereas the Cr-rich domains are apparently amorphous. Elsewhere in the nitrogen-rich case, an isothermal ferrite-to-austenite phase transformation occurred. The austenite transformation product formed martensitically with a high-aspect-ratio plate-like morphology in the Nishiyama–Wassermann orientation relationship to the ferrite matrix.



We thank the NSF for financial support under Grant Nos. DMR-1104937 and DMR-0922938, and the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS) of the Ohio State University for access to their aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopes. We are also grateful to Dr. Robert E. A. Williams and Prof. David W. McComb for their assistance and helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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