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Determination of susceptibility to intergranular corrosion of uns 31803 type duplex stainless steel by electrochemical reactivation technique

Arıkan, Mehmet Emin
In the present work the effect of isothermal ageing treatment on the microstructure and on the localized corrosion resistance of a duplex stainless steel (DSS) was investigated. Specimens taken from a hot rolled cylindrical duplex stainless bar with 22% Cr grade were solution annealed at 1050°C and then sensitization heat treatments were conducted at 650, 725 and 800°C with duration ranging from 100 to 31622 min. The microstructural changes were examined by the light optical microscopy (LOM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). XRD technique and EDS analysis were used for microstructural evolution. Double Loop Electrochemical Potentiodynamic Reactivation (DLEPR) and standard weight loss immersion acid tests were performed in order to determine the degree of sensitization (DOS) to intergranular corrosion. The surfaces remained after the DLEPR test and the weight loss immersion test were also examined to observe the attack locations and their relationship with the chromium depleted zones. The degree of sensitization is measured by determining the ratio of the maximum current generated by the reactivation (reverse) scan to that of the anodic (forward) scan, (Ir/Ia) x 100. Ir is very small (less than 10-5 A/cm2) for solution annealed samples at 1050°C for 1 hr and those aged at 650°C for 100 and 316 min after the solution heat treatment, with the Ir/Ia ratios of 0.027634%, 0.033428% and 0.058928% respectively. Hence these samples were considered as unsensitized and their microstructure was composed of primary ferrite and austenite. However, Ir increased to values as high as 10-2 A/cm2 and even approached Ia for all samples aged for other temperatures and times, associated with high Ir/Ia ratios. The increased degree of sensitization can be attributed to stronger effect of chromium and molybdenum depleted areas. The microstructure was composed of primary ferrite and austenite including also sigma phase and the secondary austenite that would be responsible for the localized chromium impoverishment. The time required for sensitization was shorter in samples aged at higher temperatures. Accordingly ageing times of 1000 min at 725°C and of 316 min at 800°C were sufficient, whereas times longer than 10000 min was needed to achieve a sensitized structure at 650°C.