Austenitic stainless steels with enhanced mechanical strength
The commonly used grades of austenitic stainless steels (303L, 304L and 316L) exhibit modest levels of mechanical strength, when sintered in a 100% hydrogen atmosphere. Hydrogen sintering is essential for the achievement of good corrosion resistance. Hence, despite having good corrosion and oxidation resistance, the usage of PM austenitic stainless steels is limited to applications that are less demanding from the mechanical strength point of view. The present work is aimed at enhancing the room and elevated temperature mechanical strengths of austenitic stainless steels, without compromising their corrosion resistance. These enhancements are achieved via modification of alloy composition and sintering practice.