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Intergranular corrosion resistance of microstructure- modified type 316 austenitic stainless steel

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Cold working and a double aging treatment was used to produce a microstructure with fine nuclei of carbides distributed throughout the grains to improve the intergranular corrosion (IGC) resistance of austenitic stainless steel. The treatment was carried out on type 316 stainless steel as follows: cold working (20,30, and 40% reductions in thickness), sensitization (923 KJ5 h), and aging each for 1173,1223,1273, and 1323 K/l h, respectively. Specimens in the solution annealed condition (0% cold work) were also given the above treatment. All of the specimens were resensitized at 923 KJ5 h and tested for IGC resistance as per ASTM A262, Practice A(oxalic acid etch test) and Practice E (24 h immersion in boiling Cu-CuSO.4-H2SO4 and the U- bend test). Microhardness measurements were also carried out on all specimens. The results indicated that at an optimum treatment (30% cold work + sensitization + aging) all the specimens showed improved IGC resistance. The 0 and 20% cold worked specimens showed improvement at higher aging temperatures only. Specimens undergoing 40% cold work exhibited a decrease in IGC resistance. Compared to as-cold-worked specimens, an improvement in IGC resistance was obtained with 30% cold working.

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Kamachi Mudali, U., Vinod, N., Sundar, M. et al. Intergranular corrosion resistance of microstructure- modified type 316 austenitic stainless steel. JMEP 1, 831–838 (1992).

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