Achieving excellent mechanical properties in type 316 stainless steel by tailoring grain size in homogeneously recovered or recrystallized nanostructures
Liu, M.*; Gong, W. ; Zheng, R.*; Li, J.*; Zhang, Z.*; Gao, S.*; Ma, C.*; Tsuji, Nobuhiro*
One hopeful path to realize good comprehensive mechanical properties in metallic materials is to accomplish homogeneous nanocrystalline (NC) or ultrafine grained (UFG) structure with low dislocation density. In this work, high pressure torsion deformation followed by appropriate annealing was performed on 316 stainless steel (SS). For the first time, we successfully obtained NC/UFG 316 SS having uniform microstructures with various average grain sizes ranging from 46 nm to 2.54 m and low dislocation densities. Among the series, an un-precedentedly high yield strength (2.34 GPa) was achieved at the smallest grain size of 46 nm, in which dislocation scarcity induced hardening accounting for 57% of the strength. On the other hand, exceptional strength-ductility synergy with high yield strength (900 MPa) and large uniform elongation (27%) was obtained in the fully recrystallized specimen having the grain size of 0.38 m. The high yield stress and scarcity of dislocation sources in recrystallized UFGs activated stacking faults and deformation twins nucleating from grain boundaries during straining, and their interaction with dislocations allowed for sustainable strain hardening, which also agreed with the plaston concept recently proposed. The multiple deformation modes activated, together with the effective strengthening mechanisms, were responsible for the outstanding comprehensive mechanical performance of the material.