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Significance and Use
4.1 Test Method A shall only be used to supplement the results of Test Methods B and C. It shall not be used as a rejection criterion, nor shall it be used as an acceptance criterion. Test Methods B and C are intended to be the procedures giving the acceptance criteria for this standard.
4.2 Test Method A can reveal potentially detrimental phases in the metallographic structure. As the precipitated detrimental phases can be very small, this test demands high proficiency from the metallographer, especially for thinner material.
4.4 The tests do not determine the precise nature of the detrimental phase but rather the presence or absence to the extent that the normally expected toughness and corrosion resistance of the material are significantly affected.
4.5 This standard covers testing of samples taken from coil, coil- and plate mill plate, sheet, tubing, piping, bar and deformed bar, though some of these products might not be suitable for testing according to Method B (see Test Method B for further details). Other product forms have thus far not been sufficiently tested and documented to be an integral part of this standard, though the standard does not prohibit testing of these product forms according to the three test methods. For these other product forms, this standard gives only limited and non-exhaustive guidance as to interpretation of result and associated acceptance criteria.
1.1 The purpose of this test method is to allow detection of the presence of detrimental chromium-containing phases in selected lean duplex stainless steels to the extent that toughness or corrosion resistance is affected significantly. Such phases can form during manufacture and fabrication of lean duplex products. This test method does not necessarily detect losses of toughness nor corrosion resistance attributable to other causes, nor will it identify the exact type of detrimental phases that caused any loss of toughness or corrosion resistance. The test result is a simple pass/fail statement.
1.2 Lean duplex (austenitic-ferritic) stainless steels are typically duplex stainless steels composed of 30-70 % ferrite content with a typical alloy composition having Cr > 17 % and Mo < 1 % and with additions of Nickel, Manganese, Nitrogen and controlled low carbon content as well as other alloying elements. This standard test method applies only to those alloys listed in Table 1. Similar test methods for some higher alloyed duplex stainless steels are described in ASTM A923, but the procedures described in this standard differ significantly for all three methods from the ones described in A923.
1.3 Lean duplex stainless steels are susceptible to the formation of detrimental chromium-containing compounds such as nitrides and carbides and other undesirable phases. Typically this occurs during exposures in the temperature range from approximately 300 to 955°C (570 to 1750ºF) with a maximum susceptibility in the temperature range around 650 to 750°C (1200 to 1385ºF). The speed of these precipitation reactions is a function of composition and the thermal or thermo-mechanical history of each individual piece. The presence of an amount of these phases can be detrimental to toughness and corrosion resistance.
1.4 Because of the low molybdenum content, lean duplex stainless steels only exhibit a minor susceptibility to sigma or other types of molybdenum containing intermetallic phases. Heat treatment, that could lead to formation of small amounts of molybdenum containing intermetallics, would result in a large amount of precipitation of detrimental nitrides or carbides – long before any signs of sigma and similar phases would be observed.
1.5 Correct heat treatment of lean duplex stainless steels can eliminate or reduce the amount and alter the characteristics of these detrimental phases as well as minimizing Cr-depletion in the matrix phase in the immediate vicinity of these phases. Adequately rapid cooling of the product from a suitable annealing temperature provides the maximum resistance to formation of detrimental phases by subsequent thermal exposures. For details of the proper annealing temperature recommendations for the alloy and product in question, the user is referred to the relevant applicable ASTM product specification.
1.8 Guidelines for the required data needed for subcommittee A01.14 to consider listing a lean duplex stainless steel in this standard test method are given in Annex A1.
1.9 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to other units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
A370 Test Methods and Definitions for Mechanical Testing of Steel Products
A923 Test Methods for Detecting Detrimental Intermetallic Phase in Duplex Austenitic/Ferritic Stainless Steels
E23 Test Methods for Notched Bar Impact Testing of Metallic Materials
G48 Test Methods for Pitting and Crevice Corrosion Resistance of Stainless Steels and Related Alloys by Use of Ferric Chloride Solution
ICS Number Code 77.040.99 (Other methods of testing metals)
UNSPSC Code 11171600(Stainless steel alloys)