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Acta Metall Sin  2018, Vol. 54 Issue (3): 385-392    DOI: 10.11900/0412.1961.2017.00210
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Microstructure Evolution During Solution Treatment and Its Effects on the Properties of Ni-Fe-Cr Alloy
Shenghu CHEN(), Lijian RONG
Key Laboratory of Nuclear Materials and Safety Assessment, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
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Ni-Fe-Cr alloys have been widely used for petrochemical, chemical and nuclear application due to their superior corrosion resistance and good workability. Nowadays, Ni-Fe-Cr alloys with higher strength are demanded for the engineering application. Increasing the carbon content could enhance the strength of Ni-Fe-Cr alloys due to the solid-solution strengthening effect of interstitial carbon atoms. However, an increase in the carbon content would promote the precipitation of carbides, which would reduce the corrosion resistance. In order to optimize the carbon content and determine the solution treatment, microstructure evolution during solution treatment and its effects on the properties of Ni-Fe-Cr alloys with different carbon content were investigated using OM and SEM. The results show that variation in carbon content affects the carbide dissolution and grain size during solution treatment, which affects the mechanical properties and intergranular corrosion susceptibility of Ni-Fe-Cr alloys. For the Ni-Fe-Cr alloy with carbon content of 0.010%, M23C6 carbides produced during the hot-working process do not exist after solution treatment at 950 ℃. For the alloy with carbon content of 0.026%, M23C6 carbides are dissolved into the matrix when the solution temperature increases to 1000 ℃. An increase in the carbon content from 0.010% to 0.026% results in an increased tensile strength and has slightly observable effect on the elongation. The alloys with the carbon content in the range of 0.010%~0.026% have lower intergranular corrosion susceptibility. As the carbon content increases to 0.056%, M23C6 carbides could not be dissolved even at the solution temperature of 1050 ℃, and inhomogenous grain-size distribution is observed. The presence of undissolved M23C6 carbide weakens the solid-solution strengthening effect of carbon atoms, and significantly increases the susceptibility to intergranular corrosion.

Key words:  Ni-Fe-Cr alloy      solution treatment      carbide      tensile property      intergranular corrosion     
Received:  01 June 2017     
Fund: Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.51401215)

Cite this article: 

Shenghu CHEN, Lijian RONG. Microstructure Evolution During Solution Treatment and Its Effects on the Properties of Ni-Fe-Cr Alloy. Acta Metall Sin, 2018, 54(3): 385-392.

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Alloy Ni Cr Ti Mo Cu Si Al C Mn S P Fe
C1 37.8 22.2 0.79 3.15 1.80 0.43 0.11 0.010 0.62 0.004 0.014 Bal.
C2 37.8 22.3 0.82 3.14 1.77 0.44 0.12 0.026 0.61 0.002 0.017 Bal.
C3 37.9 22.2 0.81 3.13 1.80 0.43 0.13 0.056 0.61 0.002 0.014 Bal.
Table 1  Chemical compositions of experimental Ni-Fe-Cr alloys (mass fraction / %)
Fig.1  OM (a~c) and SEM (d~f) images of C1 (a, d), C2 (b, e) and C3 (c, f) alloys after solution treated at 950 ℃ for 1 h (The arrows show the M23C6 carbides)
Fig.2  SEM image (a) and corresponding EDS (b) of M23C6 carbide after solution treated at 950 ℃ for 1 h in C3 alloy (A—mass fraction)
Fig.3  OM (a, b) and SEM (c, d) images of C2 (a, c) and C3 (b, d) alloys after solution treated at 1000 ℃ for 1 h
Fig.4  OM (a) and SEM (b) images of C3 alloy after solution treated at 1050 ℃ for 1 h
Fig.5  SEM (a, c, e) and corresponding enlarged (b, d, f) images of tensile fractures of C1 (a, b), C2 (c, d) and C3 (e, f) alloys in different solution treated conditions
Alloy Solution temperature Yield strength Ultimate strength Elongation
MPa MPa %
C1 950 274 559 52.0
C2 1000 291 631 51.5
C3 1050 313 647 48.0
Table 2  Room-temperature tensile properties of Ni-Fe-Cr alloy
Fig.6  Surface morphologies of C1 (a), C2 (b) and C3 (c, d) alloys in different solution treated conditions after intergranular corrosion test (Fig.6d shows the enlarged image of the square area in Fig.6c)
Fig.7  Effect of C content on the equilibrium phases diagram for Ni-Fe-Cr alloy
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