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Materials 2017, 10(11), 1331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma10111331

Warm Pre-Strain: Strengthening the Metastable 304L Austenitic Stainless Steel without Compromising Its Hydrogen Embrittlement Resistance

1
School of Chemical Engineering & Technology, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
2
School of Mechanical and Power Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 211816, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract

Plastic pre-strains were applied to the metastable 304L austenitic stainless steel at both room temperature (20 °C) and higher temperatures (i.e., 50, 80 and 100 °C), and then the hydrogen embrittlement (HE) susceptibility of the steel was evaluated by cathodically hydrogen-charging and tensile testing. The 20 °C pre-strain greatly strengthened the steel, but simultaneously significantly increased the HE susceptibility of the steel, since α′ martensite was induced by the pre-strain, causing the pre-existence of α′ martensite, which provided “highways” for hydrogen to transport deep into the steel during the hydrogen-charging. Although the warm pre-strains did not strengthen the steel as significantly as the 20 °C pre-strain, they retained the HE resistance of the steel. This is because the higher temperatures, particularly 80 and 100 °C, suppressed the α′ martensite transformation during the pre-straining. Pre-strain at a temperature slightly higher than room temperature has a potential to strengthen the metastable 304L austenitic stainless steel without compromising its initial HE resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogen embrittlement; austenitic stainless steels; pre-strain; martensite transformation hydrogen embrittlement; austenitic stainless steels; pre-strain; martensite transformation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Wang, Y.; Zhou, Z.; Wu, W.; Gong, J. Warm Pre-Strain: Strengthening the Metastable 304L Austenitic Stainless Steel without Compromising Its Hydrogen Embrittlement Resistance. Materials 2017, 10, 1331.

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