Characterisation of grain boundary cluster compactness in austenitic stainless steel

S. Rahimi, D. L. Engelberg, T. J. Marrow

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The distribution of grain boundaries of particular crystallographic character can provide descriptive information on the properties of engineering materials. For example, the fraction and connectivity of corrosion susceptible grain boundaries typically correlates with the extent of intergranular corrosion and stress corrosion cracking resistance in sensitised austenitic stainless steels. A parameter defining the cluster compactness is proposed to describe the breakup of the network of corrosion susceptible grain boundaries. It may therefore provide a measure of intergranular stress corrosion cracking resistance. The cluster compactness of the network of random grain boundaries (>∑29) in electron backscatter diffraction assessments of microstructure is shown to decrease with increasing fraction of ∑3 boundaries. However, the cluster compactness of the network of corroded grain boundaries identified after electrochemical testing is less sensitive to changes in microstructure obtained by thermomechanical processing. © 2010 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)670-675
    Number of pages5
    JournalMaterials Science and Technology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010


    • Cluster characteristics
    • Electron backscatter diffraction
    • Grain boundary engineering
    • Sensitisation
    • Stainless steel


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