Duplex stainless steels present good corrosion resistant and mechanical properties hence they are being used in various pressure boundary components of nuclear power plants such as primary coolant pipes, valves and pump bodies because of the presence of the dual microstructure which consists of equal amounts of austenite and α-ferrite phases. The ratio of austenite and α-ferrite phases mainly depends on the chemical composition. However, when DSS are subjected to the service temperature range of about 300–500°C they undergo embrittlement due to spinodal decomposition of highly alloyed ferrite matrix into iron rich (α) phase and chromium rich (α′) phase. The embrittlement significantly affects impact toughness, tensile strength, ductility, fracture toughness and fatigue behavior limiting the industrial applicability of this steel to temperatures below 280°C. In this chapter, the basic overview of duplex stainless steels and the effect of reversion heat treatment on the thermally embrittled duplex steel is discussed.
Part of the book: Stainless Steels and Alloys