• Mohammed Al-Rabie

Student thesis: Phd


The new generation of highly alloyed super duplex stainless steels such as Zeron 100 are preferable materials for industrial applications demanding high strength, toughness and superior corrosion resistance, especially against stress corrosion cracking (SCC). SCC is an environmentally assisted failure mechanism that occurs due to exposure to an aggressive environment while under a tensile stress. The mechanism by which SCC of duplex stainless steel is expected to suffer depends on the combination of electrochemical and the mechanical interaction between austenite and ferrite in the duplex alloys. The main aims of this work are to study the suitability of digital image correlation (DIC) to monitor the initiation and propagation of SCC and to understand how the microstructure of duplex stainless steel influences the kinetics of crack initiation and growth. The combined analysis of DIC, SEM and EBSD was used to study the relative crack propagation and the effect of interphase boundaries on crack growth as well.Cracking was initiated beneath saturated MgCl2 droplets in an atmospheric environment at 80°C and relative humidity of 30-33%. As-received and 10% cold rolled samples (with two orientations transverse and longitudinal to the loading direction) were subjected to an applied strain of 0.03 under displacement controlled tests. Regular optical observations were recorded of the droplets and their surrounding area. DIC analyses used the differentiation of the displacement fields to obtain the apparent surface strains used to detect crack initiation and propagation, and to measure crack opening displacements. It was found that DIC was efficiently observed the strain developments and the displacements in observed surfaces outside of the droplets but it could not identify or quantify the initiation of the cracks inside the droplets because of the mobility of the salt film and the high amount of the corrosion products formed which obscure the vision under the droplets. In addition, results showed that early stage microcracks were initiated in alpha phase and alpha/γ interfaces and propagated preferentially in the ferrite phase. Also, SCC initiation and propagation was accelerated by cold rolling and the grains orientations were of major effects on the retardation of crack propagation which was more severe in the transverse rolling direction. Also, there was no relation established between the strain level and the density of pitting in either phase.
Date of Award31 Dec 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester

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