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Materials & Design
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 30  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 1612 - 1624

Influence of austenitizing temperature on microstructure and mechanical properties of AISI 431 martensitic stainless steel electron beam welds

A. Rajasekhar, G. Madhusudhan Reddy, T. Mohandas and V.S.R. Murti    

Abstract: The relative effects of various austenitizing temperatures on microstructure and mechanical properties of electron beam welds of AISI 431martensitic stainless steel were studied. The post-weld heat treatments consist of austenitizing the weld samples for 1 h at various temperatures, i.e., at 950 °C, 1000 °C, 1050 °C, 1100 °C and at 1150 °C and air cooling followed by double tempering, i.e., tempering at 670 + 600 °C. In the as-welded condition the microstructure contains dendritic structure with ferrite network and retained austenite in a matrix of un-tempered martensite. The prior austenite grain size increased with increase in austenitizing temperature. Parent metal grain size was coarser as compared to grain size in the weld zone in respective conditions. Retained austenite content increased with increase in the austenitizing temperature. Presence of undissolved carbides was observed in welds and parent metal austenitized up to 1000 °C and they dissolved at austenitizing temperature >= 1050 °C. Coarsening of martensite laths was observed after tempering. The martensite laths were coarser in the samples subjected to higher austenitizing temperatures. Optimum mechanical properties, i.e., strength, hardness and toughness were observed when austenitized between 1050 °C and 1100 °C followed by tempering. Austenitizing at 1150 °C and tempering resulted in inferior mechanical properties. The mechanism for the observed trends is discussed in relation to the microstructure, fracture features and mechanical properties.

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