Low-Temperature aging characteristics of type 316L stainless steel welds: Dependence on solidification mode

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Thermal aging embrittlement of light water reactor (LWR) components made of stainless steel cast has been recognized as a potential degradation issue, and careful attention has been paid to it. Although welds of austenitic stainless steels have γδ duplex microstructure, which is similar to that of the stainless steel cast, examination of the thermal aging characteristics of the stainless steel welds is very limited. In this investigation, two types of type 316L stainless steel weld metal with different solidification modes were prepared using two kinds of filler metals having tailored Ni equivalent and Cr equivalent. Differences between the two weld metals in the morphology of microstructure, in the composition of δ -ferrite, and in hardening behaviors with isothermal aging at 335 °C have been investigated. The hardness of the ferrite phase has increased with aging time, while the hardness of austenite phase has stayed the same. The mottled aspect has been observed in δ -ferrite of aged samples by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observation. These characteristics suggest that spinodal decomposition has occurred in δ -ferrite by aging at 335 °C. The age-hardening rate of δ -ferrite was faster for the primary austenite solidification mode (AF mode) sample than the primary ferrite solidification mode (FA mode) sample in the initial stage of the aging up to 2000 hours. It has been suggested that the solidification mode can affect the kinetics of spinodal decomposition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1392-1398
Number of pages7
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Volume39 A
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jun

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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