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Between 13 percent chromium cast martensitic steels, austenitic steels, and precipitation hardening 17-4 steels (17-4-PH steels), a new range of stainless steels has been developed over the past few years. These are cast martensitic steels with 16 to 17 percent chromium, 4 to 5 percent nickel, and low carbon.
In this paper are pointed out the basic characteristics of this class of steels, that is, foundry properties, chemical and mechanical properties, weldability, resistance to corrosion and corrosion fatigue, and susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement. These are the results of some 20 years of industrial experience and of recently acquired laboratory data.
In the different fields involved, these 17-4 and 17-4 molybdenum steels have exhibited better properties than 13 percent chromium steels and in some cases properties quite similar to those of austenitic steels.
These steels are very widely used in cast parts, and particularly in hydraulic turbines and gas compressors, but they are also frequently used in wrought products, generally in the form of plates.
cast martensitic stainless steels, mechanical properties, corrosion, corrosion fatigue, welding, hydrogen embrittlement, stress corrosion cracking
Engineer, Department of Special Physics, Creusot-Loire Research Center, Firminy,
Engineer, Department of Metallurgy, Creusot-Loire Research Center, Le Creusot,