The fracture mechanisms in duplex stainless steels at sub-zero temperatures
Sammanfattning: The aim of the thesis was to study the susceptibility for brittle failures and the fracture process of duplex stainless steels at sub-zero temperatures (°C). In the first part of the thesis plates of hot-rolled duplex stainless steel with various thicknesses were used to study the influence of delamination (also known as splits) on the fracture toughness. The methods used were impact and fracture toughness testing. Light optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used to investigate the microstructure and fracture surfaces. It was concluded that the delaminations caused a loss of constraint along the crack front which resulted in a stable fracture process despite the presence of cleavage cracks. These delaminations occurred when cleavage cracks are constrained by the elongated austenite lamellae. The pop-in phenomenon which is frequently observed in duplex stainless steels during fracture toughness testing was shown to occur due to these delaminations. The susceptibility for pop-in behaviour during testing increased with decreasing plate thickness. The toughness anisotropy was also explained by the delamination phenomenon.In the second part of the thesis duplex stainless steel weld metals from lean duplex and super duplex were investigated. For the lean duplex weldments with different nickel contents, tensile, impact and fracture toughness testing were conducted from room temperature to sub-zero temperatures. The result showed that increased nickel content decreased the susceptibility for critical cleavage initiation at sub-zero temperatures. The super duplex stainless steel weldment was post weld heat treated. The fracture sequence at low temperature was critical cleavage fracture initiation after minor crack-tip blunting and ductile fracture. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy investigation of the weld metals showed that substitutional element partitioning is small in the weld metal. However, for the post weld heat treated weldments element partitioning occurred which resulted in decreased nickel content in the ferrite.
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