Microstructural changes during deformation of AISI 300 grade austenitic stainless steels: Impact of chemical heterogeneity


The present work points out the importance of chemical heterogeneity on the destabilization of austenitic structure and the formation of deformation induced martensite (DIM) in AISI 300 grade austenitic stainless steels (ASSs) of different level of austenite stability (316L, 304, 301LN). Color etching reveals that the structure of wrought Cr–Ni type steels is never fully chemically homogeneous. Confrontation of distribution and morphology of DIM formed in the volume of material after static and cyclic straining under well controlled different conditions with the characteristic local variations in chemical composition of diverse wrought semi-product forms (plates, sheets, bars) proved prominent and very important role of chemical banding in the destabilization of originally fully austenitic structure. This fact should be considered especially when interpreting the results of hydrogen embrittlement tensile testing of Cr–Ni ASSs with lowered Ni content. An impact of chemical heterogeneity on microstructural changes during production of UFG structure of 301LN and its cyclic straining is highlighted.

Funding source: Project No. 13-32665S of the Czech Science Foundation

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