DOI: 10.3390/jmmp8010006 ISSN: 2504-4494

A Combined Microscopy Study of the Microstructural Evolution of Ferritic Stainless Steel upon Deep Drawing: The Role of Alloy Composition

Andrés Núñez, Irene Collado, María De la Mata, Juan F. Almagro, David L. Sales
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials

Ferritic stainless steel (FSS) is widely used to manufacture deep-drawn products for corrosion resistance applications, being the alloy drawability strongly affected by its microstructural anisotropy. This study combines a variety of microscopy techniques enabling in-depth analyses of the microstructural evolution of two different FSSs correlated to their deep drawing performance. One of the steels has a good correspondence with the standard EN-1.4016 (AISI 430). The other is a modified version of the previous one with higher contents of the ferrite-stabilising elements Si and Cr, and lower contents of the austenite-stabilising elements C, N, and Mn. Electron Backscatter Diffraction results confirm that the microstructural properties and drawability of FSS in the deep drawing process are improved in the modified steel version. Scanning transmission electron microscopy under low-angle annular dark field conditions evidences that the deformation mechanism of FSS during deep drawing follows a microstructural distortion model based on the grain size gradient and shows a variation of the deformation texture depending on the alloy composition. This work demonstrates the potential of advanced microscopy techniques for optimising the processing and design of ferritic stainless steels, with slight variations in the alloy composition, for deep drawing applications.

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