Deformation-Induced Martensite and Resistance to Cavitation Erosion
Daedalus Associates Inc., 1674 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA 94043, U.S.A.
Exposure to cavitating liquids can induce surface transformation in metastable alloys, notably the 18Cr-8Ni class of stainless steels. The question of whether such transformation contributes to erosion resistance has not been resolved. To address that issue, two metastable stainless steels (Types 301 and 304L) and a near-equiatomic NiTi alloy were subjected to cavitation. Magnetic measurements during and after cavitation erosion indicate that substantial reversion of deformation-induced martensite occurs in the highly deformed surface layers of the stainless steels. Thus, cyclic formation and reversion of martensite is deduced to be a non-trivial energy-adsorption mechanism in those steels. The extreme case of cyclic induction and essentially complete reversion of martensite is illustrated by superelastic NiTi, which is extraordinarily resistant to cavitation damage.
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