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Materials 2019, 12(2), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12020242

Evaluation of Grain Boundary Network and Improvement of Intergranular Cracking Resistance in 316L Stainless Steel after Grain Boundary Engineering

1
National Center for Materials Service Safety, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Room 622, Tuhuan Building, No. 30 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100083, China
2
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200072, China
3
Frontier Research Initiative, NICHe, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8579, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 6 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Abstract

For understanding the improvement of intergranular stress corrosion cracking (IGSCC) propagation in grain boundary engineering (GBE)-processed metals exposed to a simulated pressurized water reactor (PWR) environment, characteristics of the grain boundary network of 316L stainless steel before and after GBE were investigated and compared, including proportions both in length and in number of ∑3n boundaries, sizes, and topology of grain clusters (or twin-related domains), and connectivity of random boundaries. The term through-view random boundary path (TRBP) was proposed to evaluate the random boundary connectivity. A TRBP is a chain of end-to-end connected crack-susceptible boundaries that passes through the entire mapped microstructure. The work provides the following key findings: (I) the length fraction of ∑3n boundaries was increased to approximately 75% after GBE, but the number fraction was only approximately 50%; (II) a connected non-twin boundary network still existed in the GBE sample due to the formation of grain clusters; (III) the GBE sample exhibited a higher resistance to IGSCC; and (IV) as the twin boundary fraction increased, the number of TRBPs decreased and the normalized length of the minimum TRBP increased monotonically, leading to a higher resistance to IGSCC. View Full-Text
Keywords: austenitic stainless steel; EBSD; grain boundary engineering; grain boundary connectivity; stress corrosion cracking austenitic stainless steel; EBSD; grain boundary engineering; grain boundary connectivity; stress corrosion cracking
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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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Liu, T.; Xia, S.; Bai, Q.; Zhou, B.; Lu, Y.; Shoji, T. Evaluation of Grain Boundary Network and Improvement of Intergranular Cracking Resistance in 316L Stainless Steel after Grain Boundary Engineering. Materials 2019, 12, 242.

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