• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 12, No 6 (2021)

Effect of Prior Austenite Grain-Size on the Annealing Twin Density and Hardness in the Austenitic Stainless Steel

Effect of Prior Austenite Grain-Size on the Annealing Twin Density and Hardness in the Austenitic Stainless Steel

Title: Effect of Prior Austenite Grain-Size on the Annealing Twin Density and Hardness in the Austenitic Stainless Steel
Mochammad Syaiful Anwar, Rana K. Melinia, Mayang G. Pradisti, Eddy S. Siradj

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Cite this article as:
Anwar, M.S., Melinia, R.K., Pradisti, M.G., Siradj, E.S., 2021. Effect of Prior Austenite Grain-Size on the Annealing Twin Density and Hardness in the Austenitic Stainless Steel. International Journal of Technology. Volume 12(6), pp. 1149-1160

Mochammad Syaiful Anwar 1. Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia 2. Research Center for Metallurgy and Materials, Indon
Rana K. Melinia Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Mayang G. Pradisti Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Eddy S. Siradj Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
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Effect of Prior Austenite Grain-Size on the Annealing Twin Density and Hardness in the Austenitic Stainless Steel

The present study examined the effect of prior austenite grain size on twin density and hardness of austenitic stainless steels (ASS). The 253 MA and 316L ASS were subjected to multi-pass cold rolling to reduce thickness up to 2.3 mm. Subsequently, the rolled steels were heat treated at 1100°C at 0, 900, 1800, 2700, and 3600 seconds in a tubular furnace in a hydrogen atmosphere. At the end of the annealing time, the rolled steel was quenched in the cooled zone of the tubular furnace until it reached room temperature in a hydrogen atmosphere. Then, microstructure observation of ASS was done to identify the austenitic grain size and annealing twin, and a hardness test was performed using the micro-Vickers hardness scale. The line intercept method was used to measure the changes in 253 MA and 316L austenitic grain sizes. ImageJ software was used to measure grain size and twin length. The results showed that austenite grains of both steels grew normally; 253 MA ASS had a lower SFE and K value than 316L ASS, which indicated that 253 MA ASS had sluggish grain growth, smaller grains, more easily formed annealing twins, and higher twin density. The Hall–Petch coefficient, K’, of 253 MA ASS was higher than 316L ASS, which resulted in a higher hardness value. The Sellars, Pande and Hall-Petch models were shown to predict austenite grain sizes, twin density, and hardness in 253 MA and 316L ASS.

253 MA Austenitic Stainless Steel, 316L Austenitic Stainless Steel, Grain Size, Twin Length, micro-Vickers hardness


Austenitic stainless steel (ASS) is generally employed in the construction, energy, and medical industries (Jujur et al., 2015). The thickness of this steel can be easily reduced through a deformation process at room temperature. The degree of ASS thickness reduction after cold rolling (CR) can affect the strength and ductility of the steel due to strain hardening and martensite introduced into the microstructure. However, Xu et al. (2018b) found that the increment of the grain-boundary density in the untransformed austenite structure of 316LN ASS after a high degree of CR also contributed to increased strength and decreased ductility. Subsequent annealing at a specific temperature resulted in the recrystallization of the austenite grains, which nucleated from martensite and untransformed austenite, and the grain growth process. Grain size was shown to increase with higher annealing temperature and longer duration, consequently decreasing the strength and the increasing ductility of the steel (Xu et al., 2018a).

Studies have been performed to impede the grain growth of steels under annealing. For example, Liu et al. (2020) found that the precipitation of the M6C pinned in the grain boundaries resulted in sluggish grain growth at a specific annealing temperature. Adabavazeh et al. (2017) found that cerium inclusions in SS400 steels resulted in decreased austenite grain growth during annealing at higher temperatures. Lee et al. (2019) discovered that ferritic stainless steels supplemented with nitrogen at around 200 ppm resulted in minimum grain sizes due to the higher pinning force of Ti-N in grain boundaries. Wu et al. (2018) found high concentrations of vanadium in the Nb-free Cr-Mo-V steels, which caused grain size to decrease. However, abnormal grain-growth behavior occurred due to V-rich M8C7 particles observed after the quenching process. Contrarily, Cr-Mo-V steels with the addition of niobium resulted in a precipitate of several small Nb-C particles, which significantly impacted the grain refinement. Naghizadeh and Mirzadeh (2016) reported that molybdenum content in ASS steels significantly impeded grain development during annealing at higher temperatures.

Additionally, annealing twins formed in austenite grains have been shown to depend on the migration rate of grain boundaries during recrystallization (Poddara et al., 2019). The relationship between annealing twins and grain size in austenitic stainless steels continues to interest researchers due to the presence of various alloy contents in these steels. Wang et al. (2016) clarified that the densities of grain boundaries and annealing twins increased with a small increase in grain sizes, which resulted in decreased shape of the memory effect in Fe-Mn-Si–based shape-memory alloys. Jin et al. (2015) found that the number of annealing twin boundaries of Inconel 718 did not increase with an increase in the average grain size. Bozzolo and Bernacki (2020) demonstrated several differences in twin topologies in microstructure after recrystallization and annealing. They further reported that the role of twins was not only impactful in microstructure evolution, but also affected in-service material behaviors. He et al. (2018) found that high purity Al of 25% reduction has many annealing twins grown in the early stages of recrystallization and then disappeared during grain growth. Jin et al. (2015) showed that incremental annealing twin-boundary densities in pure nickel after recrystallization were affected by prior cold deformation levels and initial grain sizes. Hajizadeh et al. (2014) indicated that that annealing twin densities appearing in brass microstructures decreased with increased grain size, as estimated using the model presented by Pande et al. (1990).

The present research studied the relationship between grain sizes, annealing twins, and the hardness of austenitic stainless steels after cold rolling and subsequent annealing with various annealing times. The aim was to clarify the effect of alloy contents in 253 MA   and 316L ASS on changes in grain sizes, annealing twins, and hardness. The empirical Sellars model was used to predict grain growth. Pande et al.’s model was used to predict the annealing twin densities, and the Hall–Petch model was used to predict the hardness of the austenitic stainless steels.


    To study the effect of prior austenite grain size on the annealing twin density and hardness, cold-rolled 253 MA and 316L ASS were heated at 1100? for various annealing durations. Experimental results indicated that grain size increased with increased annealing time. Normal growth occurred in the austenite grain of both steels. The low SFE and K values in 253 MA ASS resulted in sluggish grain growth, smaller grains, easier formation of annealing twins, and higher twin density than in 316L ASS. Higher Hall–Petch coefficients, k’, in 253 MA ASS caused higher shear modulus as well as hardness value than in 316L ASS. Therefore, the Sellars, Pande, and Hall–Petch models were shown to predict grain growth, twin density, and hardness in both 253 MA and 316L ASS.


    The authors would like to express their gratitude to the Ministry of Research and Technology/National Research and Innovation Agency Indonesia and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) for financial support for PUTI Doktor 2020 with contract number NKB-3355/UN2.RST/HKP.05.00/2020, as well as LIPI Research with contract number SK 197/H/2019. We would also like to thank PT. Cahaya Bina Baja-Sandvik, who supported the procurement of the stainless steel 253 MA.


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