Thermal stability of carbon S phase in 316 stainless steel

Xiao-Ying Li, Sirinee Thaiwatthana, Hanshan Dong, Thomas Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


A low temperature plasma carburising process has been developed to engineer the surfaces of austenitic stainless steels to achieve combined improvements in wear and corrosion resistance. Previous studies have investigated the chemical, mechanical and structural characteristics of this carburised layer produced on AISI 316 steel at temperatures between 400degreesC and 600degreesC. The present paper focuses on the thermal stability of this carbon S phase layer. The investigation included isothermal annealing of the S phase layer as well as microstructure and property characterisation of the specimens. The results show that the S phase is metastable. When thermally. annealed at certain temperatures for long enough, the carbon S phase decomposes into chromium carbides. Correspondingly, the hardness and corrosion resistance also varied. A preliminary isothermal transformation diagram has been constructed, which provides a basic guideline for the application of low temperature plasma carburised 316 austenitic stainless steel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-452
Number of pages5
JournalSurface Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002


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