On surface carbides in low-temperature carburized austenitic stainless steels
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
Surface carbides are occasionally found at the surface of austenitic stainless steels subjected to low-temperature carburizing surface treatments which are intended to induce an interstitially supersaturated surface layer. The crystallographic nature and chemical composition of the carbides can have a significant influence on the surface properties, especially on the corrosion resistance of the steel. However, their phase identification and chemical
characterization via conventional methods (e.g. X-ray diffraction) is difficult due to their complex structure and metastable nature. In this paper, a combined metallographic and electron microscopic approach is applied to characterize the morphology and chemical composition of surface carbides found on AISI 304L and SS2343 after the same Kolsterising® treatment. Exclusively M5C2, also known as Hägg or χ-carbide was found at the surface of 304L, preferentially oriented along (111) deformation bands. In SS2343, however, χ-carbide coexisted with M7C3 (or ω-carbides) and M23C6. The carbides had preferential orientation relationships with the matrix, suggesting a carbide evolution during carburizing. All the carbides show elemental partitioning, with Cr enrichment
and Ni depletion. A microstructure development sequence regarding precipitation and growth of surface carbides is proposed in this paper.
Low temperature carburizing