The effect of surface preparation on the precipitation of sigma during high temperature exposure of S32205 duplex stainless steel

Although the formation of sigma phase in duplex stainless steels is reasonably well documented, the effect of surface finish on its formation rate in surface regions has not been previously noted. The growth of the sigma phase precipitated in the subsurface region (to a maximum depth of 120 μm) has been quantified after heat treatment of S32205 duplex stainless steel at 1073 K (800˚C) and 1173 K (900˚C) after preparation to two surface finishes. Here, results are presented that show that there is a change in the rate of sigma phase formation in the surface region of the material, with a coarser surface finish leading to a greater depth of precipitation at a given time and temperature of heat treatment. The growth rate and morphology of the precipitated sigma has been examined and explored in conjunction with thermodynamic equilibrium phase calculations.