The improvement of the surface qualities and surface hardening of precipitation hardened martensitic stainless steel 17-4PH was achieved by the plasma-transferred arc welding (PTAW) process deposited with Co-based alloy. The microstructure of the heat affected zone (HAZ) and base metal were characterized by optical microscope (OM), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). The results show that there are obvious microstructural differences between the base metal and HAZ. For example, base material is transformed from lath martensite to austenite due to the heateffect of the welding process. On the other hand, the precipitate in the matrix (bar-like shape Cr7
phase with a width of about one hundred nanometres and a length of hundreds of nanometres) grows to a rectangular appearance with a width of about two hundred nanometres and a length of about one micron. Stacking fault could also be observed in the Cr7
after PTAW. The above means that welding can obviously improve the surface qualities.
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