Nondestructive Potentiostatic Etching Technique for
the Detection and Quantification of Preexisting
Plastic Strain in Austenitic Stainless Steel
Publication: Publication Date: 1 September 2016
Nondestructive testing (NDT) of preexisting plastic
strain with high accuracy and low heat-to-heat
variation is important for ensuring the integrity of
structural components. In the present study, a
potentiostatic etching technique (1N HNO3 at
–600 mVSCE, 308 K [35 °C] for 20 min) was
developed for NDT of plastic strain in austenitic
stainless steel. It was found that the dissolution
rate of the alloy is strongly dependent on crystallographic
orientation with the developed potentiostatic
etching condition, and the potentiostatic
etching condition was employed to visualize slight
and local disarray of crystal structure caused by
plastic deformation. Using this etching technique,
preexisting plastic strain in austenitic stainless
steel can be detected and quantified based on the
density of etched deformation twins for samples
strained at room temperature. It was also found
that preexisting plastic strain in austenitic stainless
steel that was deformed at 523 K (250 °C) could be
detected and quantified using the etched slip line
density. Over the temperature range of straining
from 303 to 373 K (30 to 100 °C), the etched deformation
twin density drastically decreased as
temperature was increased. This result indicates a
notable slip-twinning transition in SUS316NG over
the temperature range of 303 to 373 K (30 to 100 °C).
This technique was also found to have high sensitivity
and low heat dependency in detection of
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