2010 Volume 50 Issue 2 Pages 286-293
In the present paper, the precipitation behavior of secondary phases in Lean Duplex Stainless Steel (LDX) 2101 had been studied. The alloy has a typical ferritic-austenitic duplex structure after solution treatment. Isothermal ageing treatments were carried out over the temperature range from 700 to 850°C for the period between 2 min and 1440 min. Cr2N-type nitrides were formed as the main product of precipitates, together with small amount of Cr23C6-type carbides. Increase of N content and decrease of Cr and Mo contents in the steel had led to the absence of σ-phase. Due to the solid solution strengthening by interstitial atoms, the hardness value of austenite was measured to be higher than that of ferrite. With increasing the isothermal ageing time, precipitates were observed to be preferentially nucleated at the δ/γ interface and grown toward the δ phase. The δ/γ interfce migrated from the precipitate particles into δ phase, leaving the precipitates behind along the original interfaces, which could increase the size of the secondary austenite (γ′) phase and decrease the hardness of both austenite and ferrite. Inside γ′ phase, the hardness was measured to increase from about 3.20 GPa at the original interface to about 3.75 GPa at the newly formed interface of δ/γ′. The isothermal kinetics for the precipitation of secondary phases was measured to obey the JMAK-type law. The TTT (time-temperature-transformation) curve was constructed based on the measurements, which seems to have resulted from the overlap of two different precipitated products. The average impact energy at room temperature for the sample after solid solution treatment was measured to be 105 J. When 2% secondary phases were precipitated during ageing, the impact energy decreased to about 43 J, reduced by about 59% as compared with the as-annealed sample, indicating that formation of secondary phases can result in dramatic decrease of steel toughness.