Oded Sobol oral presentation (OA1-Tue1-3-2)
Observations of the deuterium distribution and the structural changes in standard and lean duplex stainless steels by ToF-SIMS and EBSD
1 BAM - Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Unter den Eichen 87, 12205 Berlin, Germany
2 Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, POB 653, 8499000 Beer-Sheva, Israel
The use of duplex stainless steels (DSS) in energy related applications is well known. Nowadays, DSSs become more favorable than austenitic steels due to the outstanding mechanical properties, the good corrosion resistance and the lower nickel content. However, the use of the duplex grade in acidic environments such as seawater can lead to a severe degradation in the structural integrity of the steel by hydrogen-induced/assisted cracking mechanisms, which can eventually result in premature failure. Hydrogen assisted degradation and cracking of steels remains unclear even though this topic is intensively studied for more than a century. The main gap lies in the validation of the proposed theoretical models at the sub-micron scale. Industrial and the research communities define a need for an accurate method by which it is possible to image the distribution of hydrogen in the microstructure. Among the very few available methods nowadays, Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) provides precise mapping of hydrogen in the microstructure. Moreover, the powerful combination of ToF-SIMS with multivariate data analysis (MVA), electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) for providing a the structural information and the use of data fusion techniques can contribute to a better understanding of the hydrogen induced degradation processes in the material.
In the present work two types of duplex grades were chosen as a case study (standard and lean DSS). The duplex class, consist of equivalent amounts of ferrite and austenite, was investigated by ToF-SIMS and EBSD during and after electrochemical deuterium charging in order to simulate the service of a component in acidic environments. Deuterium is known to act on the steel similarly to hydrogen and therefore was used as a tracer for hydrogen. The results show that the ferrite was affected almost identical in both steels whereas in the austenitic phase significant differences were observed in the lean duplex in comparison to the standard duplex. The advantage of the combined techniques is reflected by the ability to correlate the hydrogen distribution in the microstructure to the resulted structural changes.