The effects of process parameters, pre-strain, annealing temperature, time, etc. on grain boundary character distribution (GBCD) and intergranular corrosion in thermomechanical treatment were examined during grain boundary engineering of type 304 austenitic stainless steel. Slight pre-strain annealing at a relatively low temperature resulted in excellent intergranular corrosion resistance due to optimized GBCD, i.e. the uniform distribution of a high frequency of coincidence site lattice boundaries and consequent discontinuity of random boundary network in the material. The optimum distribution can be formed by introduction of low energy segments on migrating random boundaries during twin emission and boundary-boundary reactions in the grain growth without generation of new random boundaries.
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