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Analytical modeling of the evolution of the nonlinearity parameter of sensitized stainless steel...

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Journal of Applied Physics
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Austenitic stainless steels are subject to the precipitation of chromium carbides (M23C6) during exposure to high temperatures, causing these alloys to be susceptible to intergranular corrosion due to chromium depletion along grain boundaries. The acoustic nonlinearity parameter, β, shows sensitivity to the formation of carbides in these alloys. The Thermo-Calc TC-PRISMA module was used to model the nucleation and growth of grain boundary M23C6 carbides. The model was verified with scanning transmission electron microscopy analysis that allowed measurements of the grain boundary precipitates. The paper introduces a reduced-order model of the acoustic nonlinearity based on the formation of misfit dislocations at the interface of the grain boundary precipitate and matrix to explain the change in β during isothermal aging. A direct relationship between the radius of the M23C6 grain boundary carbides and β was observed and verified with nonlinear ultrasound measurements on 304L and 316L stainless steels.