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    Volume 4, Issue 1 (April 2015)

    Metallurgical Analysis of a Failed 17-4 PH Stainless Steel Pyro Bolt Used in Launch Vehicle Separation Systems

    (Received 9 December 2014; accepted 24 March 2015)

    Published Online: 22 April 2015

    CODEN: MPCACD

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    Abstract

    Precipitation hardenable stainless steels are widely used in aerospace applications because of their excellent combination of strength and corrosion resistance. In view of this advantage, Fe-17Cr-4Ni (17-4 PH) steel is used in pyro bolts in space ordnance systems for stage separation in a satellite launch vehicle. These systems typically consist of a pyro charge to sever a given material resulting in stage separation, and these materials are exposed to high strain rates. In one such application, although perfect severance took place, secondary cracks were noticed longitudinally, which are not desirable. This steel, in view of its composition, has delta ferrite in a martensitic matrix in the hardened and tempered condition. In wrought products worked unidirectionally, delta ferrite gets oriented along the direction of thermomechanical processing. The effect of delta ferrite orientation on the impact properties of 17-4 PH stainless steel was studied in various heat-treatment conditions with a view to understand the effect of microstructure on impact properties. It was found that the transverse impact properties are severely affected by the presence of highly oriented delta ferrite stringers for any given heat-treatment condition. This has been attributed to the weak delta ferrite–martensite interface, which facilitates easy crack propagation. Finally, it was suggested that the anisotropy in impact properties need to be carefully considered in the design of components for applications that involve high strain rates.

    Author Information:

    Srinath, J.
    Materials and Mechanical Entity, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum,

    Manwatkar, K. Sushant
    Materials and Mechanical Entity, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum,

    Murty, S. V. S. Narayana
    Materials and Mechanical Entity, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum,

    Narayanan, P. Ramesh
    Materials and Mechanical Entity, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum,

    Sharma, S. C.
    Materials and Mechanical Entity, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum,

    George, M. Koshy
    Materials and Mechanical Entity, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum,


    Stock #: MPC20140063

    ISSN:2165-3992

    DOI: 10.1520/MPC20140063

    Author
    Title Metallurgical Analysis of a Failed 17-4 PH Stainless Steel Pyro Bolt Used in Launch Vehicle Separation Systems
    Symposium ,
    Committee A01