Effect of isothermal dissolution and re-precipitation of austenite on the mechanical properties of duplex structures
The hot deformation behaviour of a duplex ferritic/austenitic stainless steel was studied after different deformation conditions. The results showed a strange and interesting behaviour in the strength of the material during post-deformation studies. For most deformation conditions, the flow stress of the material was un-expectedly increased after annealing of deformed structures. This phenomenon implied that microstructural hardening occurred in the material during the interpass annealing rather than the expected softening. Also, an interesting change was observed where the morphology of the austenite phase changed from stringers or layers of austenite to a widmanstätten structure. The microstructural studies suggest that the austenite was dissolved and re-precipitated during the annealing process and the hardening was mostly associated with the change in the morphology of austenite.