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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X

J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.111 n.4 Johannesburg Apr. 2011




Sensitization behaviour of 11-12% Cr AISI 409 stainless steel during low heat input welding



C.J. van Niekerk; M. du Toit

University of Pretoria




The study comprised of the investigation into the sensitization characteristics of AISI 409 titanium stabilized ferritic stainless steel during low heat input welding. AISI 409 is a fully ferritic stainless steel used in catalytic converters and tubing for automotive exhaust systems due to the supposition that sensitization does not occur during low heat input welding. Two plates of 2 and 4 mm were tested for sensitization during low heat input welding. The study confirmed that chromium carbide (M23C6) precipitation occurs on the grain boundaries in the heat-affected zone with consequent depletion of Cr adjacent to the grain boundaries during welding. In the 2 mm plate sensitization occurred in the heat input range of 0.1 kJ/mm to above 0.25 kJ/mm and in the 4 mm plate sensitization occurred in the heat input range of 0.2 to 0.9 kJ/mm. Ti stabilization is ineffective at the heat inputs used in this investigation due to the rapid cooling rate through the temperature region where TiC precipitates. The presence of N was found to be detrimental since it consumes Ti on cooling, forming TiN, effectively lowering the amount of Ti available for TiC formation during rapid cooling after welding. Annealing for 5 minutes at 725°C does not improve the sensitization characteristics of the welded plate. There is a linear increase in grain size as heat input increases. The resistance to pitting corrosion decreases in the sensitized, welded plate in the heat-affected zone adjacent to the fusion line of welding.

Keywords: AISI 409 ferritic stainless steel, sensitization, grain growth, resistance to pitting corrosion, low heat input welding



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