Hardness evolution on annealing in AISI 304 stainless steel
Keywords:Austenitic stainless steel, Strain hardening, Recrystallization, Grain growth,
The evolution of the microstructure and hardness of commercial AISI 304 stainless-steel samples with the heat treatment has been studied. Steel specimens in the as-received condition, and after 50% cold rolling, were soaked for 1 hour at various temperatures between 650 and 1200 °C. Samples, maintain their grain size and hardness until about 900 °C; thereafter, size increases with temperature, while hardness lightly-diminishes. Recrystallization of cold-rolled specimens begins at 650 °C, and finishes around 850 °C. Recrystallized grain-size reaches the value found in the as received material after the treatment at 900 °C. For high her annealing temperatures both grain growth and hardness decrease following the same trent in cold-worked and non-deformed materials.
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