Characterization of (Ti,Mo,Cr)C nanoprecipitates in an austenitic stainless steel on the atomic scale

Niels Cautaerts, Rémi Delville, Erich Stergar, Dominique Schryvers, Marc Verwerft

    Research outputpeer-review


    Nanometer sized (Ti,Mo,Cr)C (MX-type) precipitates that grew in a 24% cold worked Ti-stabilized austenitic stainless steel (grade DIN 1.4970, member of the 15-15Ti austenitic stainless steels) after heat treatment were fully characterized with transmission electron microscopy (TEM), probe corrected high angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HR-HAADF STEM), and atom probe tomography (APT). The precipitates shared the cube-on-cube orientation with the matrix and were facetted on {111} planes, yielding octahedral and elongated octahedral shapes. The misfit dislocations were believed to have Burgers vectors a/6 which was verified by geometrical phase analysis (GPA) strain mapping of a matrix-precipitate interface. The dislocations were spaced five to seven atomic planes apart, on average slightly wider than expected for the lattice parameters of steel and TiC. Quantitative atom probe tomography analysis of the precipitates showed that precipitates were significantly enriched in Mo, Cr and V, and that they were hypostoichiometric with respect to C. These findings were consistent with a reduced lattice parameter. The precipitates were found primarily on Shockley partial dislocations originating from the original perfect dislocation network. These novel findings could contribute to the understanding of how TiC nanoprecipitates interact with point defects and matrix dislocations. This is essential for the application of these Ti-stabilized steels in high temperature environments or fast spectrum nuclear fission reactors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)90-98
    Number of pages9
    JournalActa Materialia
    StatePublished - 11 Oct 2018

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