Selective Dissolution of Retained Austenite in Nanostructured Bainitic Steels

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Abstract

Nanostructured bainitic steels, containing bainitic ferrite laths and retained austenite films, formed at two different isothermal temperatures were compared for corrosion behavior in chloride-containing solution using electrochemical techniques. The potentiodynamic polarization results suggest that nanostructured bainite formed at 200 °C exhibits marginally higher corrosion resistance compared with that at 350 °C. Post-corrosion analysis of the galvanostatically polarized samples revealed localized corrosion for both the steels, but the degree of attack was higher in the 350 °C steel than in the 200 °C steel. The localized corrosion attack was due to selective dissolution of the retained austenite phase. The higher volume fraction and larger size of retained austenite in the 350 °C steel as compared to that of the 200 °C steel contributed to the pronounced corrosion attack in the 350 °C steel.

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