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what is this delta ferrite test & how is it conducted

a)To understand it, one has to know reason for ferrite formation. Welding metals like 304L, 316L, retain
amount of delta ferrite formed at grain boundaries, due to composition of weld metal & welding conditions
high temperature (5500 - 9500C). Both factors determine the percentage of delta ferrite as well as its size,
morphology and distribution. Though delta ferrite reduces risk of micro fissuring / cracks, if it exceeds 8-10%, corrosion
resistance of SS decreases steeply. Ferrite level beyond 7% is unacceptable for high temperature service. Again, Zero or very
low ferrite may also create micro-fissures. Hence it has to be checked /inspected depending
up on theservice conditions.
Ferrite turns to brittle sigma phase (rich in Cr) at high temperature and affects ductility, toughness and also cause inter granular
corrosion due to Cr depletion from austenite matrix. Hence it has to be maintained depending up on service requirements.

These details were brought by Schaeffler by metallographic i.e., Ferrite Percentage (shown in the
which helps to determine the structure of weldment, like ferrtic, austenitic , percentage of delta ferrite at normal conditions etc.
The limitation is the non-equilibrium cooling rate, selection of welding process, shielding gas,
non inclusion of Nitrogen (a strong austenite former) which has influence on the ferrite morphology.

De-long has modified the Schaeffler diagram (claimed to be 4% accurate) improving the accuracy to
De-long diagram differs with Schaeffler diagram as the that the values are based on magnetically determined
ferrite content. i.e., the Ferrite No & Nitrogen is included in the calculation of nickel equivalent with a coefficient equivalent of

Hence it generally believed that, De-long diagram gives more accurate values compared to Schaeffler
AWS has switched over to Ferrite No. (FN) instead of percentage ferrite since, FN is derived by a standard measurement and
calibration procedure as approved by Welding Research Council

2. Do we buy the instrument and do it ourselves or hire a ndt service company to do this.
what does this test mean and what does it say. Is it a destructive test or NDT. Can we do a PMI and
work out
the Ni (eq) or Cr (eq) to arrive at the Ferrite No. What is the unit of the Delta Ferrite.
a) In Schaeffler diagram, Nickel and Chromium equivalents are calculated and Delta Ferrite percentage is obtained by plotting
the values. (Cr Equiv.: % Cr + % Mo + 1.5 % Si + 0.5%Cb & Ni Equiv. : % Ni + 30% C + 0.5% Mn)
This method involves actually counting the ferrite phase using point counter method and estimating the percentage)
In De-long diagram the Delta Ferrite No. i.e., FN is calculated by adding additional 30% N in Ni equiv.)
These method is based upon the theory that, ferrite is a magnetic phase in a non magnetic austenitic matrix.
While Nitrogen level in SMAW is 0.06%, it is 0.02% through GTAW & 0.04% in GMAW process.
Magnetic saturation method is a DT to determine the absolute percentage of delta ferrite in the sample and
independent of size, shape, orientation of the phase etc. Cannot be used to measure ferrite in an actual equipment.

Ferrite scope, Magna gauge are other methods, to measure the delta ferrite and their results are said to be accurate and widely
used due to its simplicity. They are NDT methods and could be used any one. Both gauges are available easily in the market. No
need to have a service company (can be done by yourself) if the no. of checking are frequent and on a long run.
Other special methods used in a research institute are X-ray diffraction, Electro chemical etc.
Schaeffler and De-long Diagrams are given in the annexure.
Trust above information, gathered from various references shall be of help to you