Microstructural evolution in a 17-4 PH stainless steel after aging at 400 °C

M. Murayama, Y. Katayama, K. Hono

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250 Citations (Scopus)


The microstructure of 17-4 PH stainless steel at various stages of heat treatment, i.e., after solution heat treatment, tempering at 580 °C, and long-term aging at 400 °C, have been studied by atom probe field ion microscopy (APFIM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The solution-treated specimen consists largely of martensite with a small fraction of δ-ferrite. No precipitates are present in the martensite phase, while spherical fcc-Cu particles are present in the δ-ferrite. After tempering for 4 hours at 580 °C, coherent Cu particles precipitate in the martensite phase. At this stage, the Cr concentration in the martensite phase is still uniform. After 5000 hours aging at 400 °C, the martensite spinodaly decomposes into Fe-rich α′ and Cr-enriched α′. In addition, fine particles of the G-phase (structure type D8a, space group Fm3̄m) enriched in Si, Ni, and Mn have been found in intimate contact with the Cu precipitates. Following spinodal decomposition of the martensite phase, G-phase precipitation occurs after long-term aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-353
Number of pages9
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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