Nanostructure Formation in Austenitic Stainless Steel
Samples of 316LVM stainless steels were hydrostatically extruded in a multi-step process to a total true strain of 1,84 and subsequently annealed at different temperatures. The structural changes occurring as a result of HE and annealing were observed using a transmission electron microscope. The microhardness of the samples was measured using a load of 200g. The results show that hydrostatic extrusion results in a uniform microstructure characterized by a high density of nano-twins. Subsequent annealing at 600°C produces a partial transformation to a nano structure of average grain size 54 nm. At an annealing temperature of 700°C a fullyrecrystallized uniform microstructure consisting of 68 nm diameter nano-grains was formed. It should be noted that 700°C is much lower than that required to recrystallize a micro-grained alloy of the same composition. The microstructural changes which occurred during annealing have a significant effect on the mechanical properties. The microhardness after HE increased following annealing at 500°C. However, annealing at 800°C resulted in a drop in microhardness, indicating the occurrence of grain growth.
Witold Łojkowski and John R. Blizzard
A. T. Krawczynska et al., "Nanostructure Formation in Austenitic Stainless Steel", Solid State Phenomena, Vol. 140, pp. 173-178, 2008