Creep-resisting austenitic steels constitute a group of construction materials which can work in the conditions of creep for the temperature range from 550 to 700°C. The service of austenitic steels leads to the progressive degradation of their microstructure, which results in the changes of functional properties. The main mechanisms of degradation of the austenitic steel microstructure include the processes of matrix softening, the processes of precipitation and matrix depletion of the interstitial and substitution elements. Precipitation processes in austenitic steels are a very important indicator, which allows the advancement of microstructure degradation processes in these steels to be determined. Hence, the knowledge of the impact of individual secondary phases on the microstructure and properties of austenitic steels plays a very important role in diagnosing the components and equipment of the power boiler system and makes it possible to forecast the time of safe operation of systems made from these steels. Based on own studies and data from literature, this paper will present the characteristics of secondary phase precipitates occurring in creep-resistant austenitic steels during their operation at an elevated/high temperature. The effect of secondary precipitates on mechanical properties of these steels will be discussed too.
Part of the book: Austenitic Stainless Steels