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Decomposition of Expanded Austenite in AISI 316 L Stainless Steel Nitrided at 450 ℃
Pages: 33-36
Year: Issue:  4
Journal: Heat Treatment

Keyword:  austenitic stainless steelplasma nitridingexpanded austenitedecompositionnitride formationamorphous regionstransmission electron microscopyEDS microanalysis;
Abstract: Expanded austenite (γN ),which can be produced during plasma nitriding of austenitic stainless steels, provides high levels of strength,toughness and corrosion resistance by comparison with traditional nitride layers. However,expanded austenite properties can be lost due to decomposition caused its thermodynamic metastability. In the present work,austenitic stainless AISI 316L steel was plasma nitrided at 450 ℃ for 5 h at 500 Pa and microstructurally characterised by X-ray diffraction (XRD ),and optical and transmission electron microscopy (TEM)which confirmed the presence of fcc expanded austenite with a lattice parameter up to 9.5% larger than untreated austenite.TEM analyses of thin foils showed that fine nitrides were formed in the N layer and some areas were observed with a singular lamellar morphology very similar to the pearlite colonies found in carbon steels. Selected area electron diffraction (SAED)analysis suggests that these areas are composed of bcc ferrite and cubic chromium nitrides produced after a localised decomposition of the expanded austenite layer.Amorphous expanded austenite was observed in some areas of the investigated samples.The occurrence of N decomposition was associated with microsegregation of ferrite stabilisers (Cr,Mo)and depletion of an austenite stabiliser (Ni)in localised regions of the expanded austenite layer.
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