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Austenitic Stainless Steel
Description of material
APMLF is a low-carbon austenitic stainless steel with Molybdenum. It has good general and pitting corrosion resistance as well as good intergranular corrosion resistance after welding processes. This grade has been designed in order to offer a good hot plasticity (forge-ability) thanks to an exact chemical balance of elements such as Carbon, Nitrogen and Nickel.
APMLF is suitable for the fabrication of many products such as flanges, valves, bolting, pump shafts, food /beverages industry equipment , storage tanks, and parts working in mild to medium corrosive environments.
Argon Oxygen Decarburization
APMLF is resistant to fresh water, many organic chemical and inorganic compounds, atmospheric corrosion, marine environments, and many products used in chemical processing, paper production equipment, rural applications and sterilizing solutions. In sea water, this grade is more resistance to pitting than type 304/304L grades such as AISLF and similar. However, pitting and crevice corrosion may occur in environments if the chloride concentrations, pH and temperature are at determinate levels. As with other standard austenitic grades, APMLF suffers from stress corrosion cracking about forty degrees (C°) above room temperature and above certain levels of stress and halogen concentrations. Strain hardened structures increase the risk of stress corrosion cracking. It should be noted that this grade, as for every kind of stainless steel, surfaces should be free of contaminant and scale, heat tint, and passivated for optimum resistance to corrosion.
Austenitic grades are different from Ferritic and Alloy steels and require more rigid and powerful machines in addition to the correct choice of tools, coatings and cutting fluids. The Austenite structure is prone to transform into α’Martensite caused by strain hardening of the tool on the surface of the machined piece. The knowledge of this behavior must be correctly considered when a piece requires two or several cutting steps to be finished. The layer of α’Martensite is very hard and, if the subsequent turning or milling processes work on this hardened layer, a rapid tool wear could happen. The tool must work under this layer. APMLF has a chemical balance for a suitable machining thanks to its micro-resulphured structure.
APMLF has a special chemical composition which helps to avoid solidification cracks in the fused-zone of autogenous welds due to a suitable Ferrite balance. In the case of filler metal welding, the typical ER for type 316L group steels could be used. APMLF can be welded without PWHT, such as annealing and fast cooling, due to its low carbon content, which avoids the precipitation of Cr-Carbide on the grain boundaries. However, in case of aggressive environments, a PWHT should be considered.
APMLF is specifically designed for hot working and is usually supplied as billets, blooms, or ingots. No preheating is required. In Primary hot transformation processes, a high temperature homogenization of large ingots and dynamic recrystallization parameters should be rightly evaluated. In the case of open die forging of large ingots and shapes, APMLF offers a good hot plasticity if a suitable soaking and a right temperature are applied. In Secondary hot transformation processes, such as extrusion, rolling or close die forging, temperatures, strain and strain rate should be well considered because they influence the properties of the austenitic structure. Suitable strain in terms of section reduction ( for instance: 20-30%) at a lower range of hot working temperatures is recommended in order to obtain a fine grain austenitic structure which is very important for mechanical , fatigue and corrosions resistance properties and makes it easier for ultrasonic testing to detect small indications as required by several International Norms. Small forgings can be cooled rapidly in air or water.