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01-11-2014 | Issue 11/2014

Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance 11/2014

Sulfide Stress Cracking and Electrochemical Corrosion of Precipitation Hardening Steel After Plasma Oxy-Nitriding

Journal:
Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance > Issue 11/2014
Authors:
E. E. Granda-Gutiérrez, J. C. Díaz-Guillén, J. A. Díaz-Guillén, M. A. González, F. García-Vázquez, R. Muñóz

Abstract

In this paper, we present the results of a duplex plasma nitriding followed by an oxidizing stage process (which is also referred as oxy-nitriding) on the corrosion behavior of a 17-4PH precipitation hardening stainless steel. The formation of both, expanded martensite (b.c.t. α′N-phase) and chromium oxide (type Cr2O3) in the subsurface of oxy-nitrided samples at specific controlled conditions, leads in a noticeable increasing in the time-to-rupture during the sulfide stress cracking test, in comparison with an untreated reference sample. Oxy-nitriding improves the corrosion performance of the alloy when it is immersed in solutions saturated by sour gas, which extends the application potential of this type of steel in the oil and gas extraction and processing industry. The presence of the oxy-nitrided layer inhibits the corrosion process that occurs in the near-surface region, where hydrogen is liberated after the formation of iron sulfides, which finally produces a fragile fracture by micro-crack propagation; the obtained results suggest that oxy-nitriding slows this process, thus delaying the rupture of the specimen. Moreover, oxy-nitriding produces a hard, sour gas-resistant surface, but do not significantly affect the original chloride ion solution resistance of the material.

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