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Application of Potentiostatic Etching for Nondestructive Testing of Accumulated Plastic Strain in Austenitic Stainless Steels

Recently, demand for a nondestructive technique to detect and evaluate plastic strain and/or cyclic strain damage with high accuracy has increased. A potentiostatic etching technique for the detection and evaluation of plastic strain in austenitic stainless steels was developed in a previous study. Using this technique, many etched deformation twins would appear on a specimen that was pre-strained at room temperature and many etched slip lines would appear on a specimen that was pre-strained at a higher temperature, and plastic strain could be evaluated based on the density of these etched lines. In the present study, the appli-cability of the potentiostatic etching technique to determine the accumulated plastic strain by cyclic pre-straining was investigated. The results indicate that the potentiostatic etching technique is appli-cable for the evaluation of low-cycle fatigue in the very early stages of fatigue life.

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