Metastable 304 austenitic stainless steel was subjected to rolling at cryogenic and room temperatures, followed by annealing at different temperatures from 500 to 950°C. Phase transition during annealing was studied using X-ray diffractometry. Transmission electron microscopy and electron backscattered diffraction were used to characterize the martensite transformation and the distribution of austenite grain size after annealing. The recrystallization mechanism during cryogenic rolling was a reversal of martensite into austenite and austenite growth. Cryogenic rolling followed by annealing refined grains to 4.7 μm compared with 8.7 μm achieved under room-temperature rolling, as shown by the electron backscattered diffraction images. Tensile tests showed significantly improved mechanical properties after cryogenic rolling as the yield strength was enhanced by 47% compared with room-temperature rolling.
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This work was financially supported by the National Key Project of Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFB0300801), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51401016), and State Key Laboratory for Advanced Metals and Materials of China.
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Shi, Jt., Hou, Lg., Zuo, Jr. et al. Effect of cryogenic rolling and annealing on the microstructure evolution and mechanical properties of 304 stainless steel. Int J Miner Metall Mater 24, 638–645 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12613-017-1446-x