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A new etching route for revealing the austenite grain boundaries in an 11.4% Cr precipitation hardening semi-austenitic stainless steel

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Materials Characterization
Issue number5
Volume58
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)455-460
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date24/07/06
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

A detailed metallographic characterization of a precipitation hardening semi-austenitic stainless steel is described. A new etching procedure based on the Lichtenegger and Blöch color etching solution, which is frequently used in duplex stainless steels to differentiate delta ferrite from austenite, has been used to differentiate martensite, austenite and the Chi-phase in this stainless steel. By changing the etching conditions, this etchant now reveals the austenite grain boundaries when the steel is in the austenitic state. Moreover, this solution is able to reveal also the prior austenite grain boundaries when the steel is in its martensitic state. This etching procedure represents a great advantage because it reveals, at the same time, different features of the microstructure.