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Variations in the ASTM Recommended Practices for Detecting Susceptibility to Intergranular Attack in Stainless Steels (A 262), Practice A and C results, between the producer and purchaser of a heat of American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) 304 L (Unified Numbering System [UNS] S30403) stainless steel, resulted in a round-robin test. The four laboratories involved (two producers and two purchaser locations) each prepared one-quarter of the specimens tested by each of the laboratories to the ASTM A 262 Practice A and C requirements. The resulting data indicated that a specific practice of surface preparation on the test specimens should be specified and mutually accepted by the participating laboratories. Variations in the amount of metal removed from the specimen's surface can make a pass/fail difference. The current specification does not require a specific surface preparation or point out the importance of a mutually accepted surface preparation. The parties involved in ASTM A 262 Practice C testing should be aware of the significant effects of surface preparation on the reproducibility of test data.
intergranular corrosion, surface finishing, cold working, stainless steels, sensitization, chemical tests
Lead corrosion engineer, Union Carbide Corporation, Texas City, TX
Supervisor of quality assurance, Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corp., Quality Assurance and Specifications, Leechburg, PA