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@ % aoe ceceeeeeeeeee BRC-CORP 37-74-F 251 Section 45. WORK HARDENING Definition of the Problem Work hardening is a process by which metals become stronger (i.e. harder), but less ductile, as they are plastically deforned at a relatively low temperature. Work hardening con be beneficial in that it is the only way in which some alloys (e.g. Types 304 and 316 stainless steels, Monel alloy 400, Inconel alloy 600) can be strengthened. However, because of the increased Anternal energy of the cold vorked arata, chantcal reactivity te dncreaces This may result in a general decrease in corrosion resistance, and in certain alloys may introduce the possibility of stress corrosion cracking. viscus on of the Problem As pure metals or alloys are cold worked, their strength is increased, and ductility decreased, jown in Figure 45-1, Some of the austenitic stainless steels, such as Type 304 or 316, transform from a face centered euhie (FCT) eryetal structure te a bedy centered cubic (BCC) structure, upon extensive cold working. In the transformed condition they may become susceptible to stress corrosion cracking or corrosive attack in environments in which they are normally suitable for use. Figure 45-2 shows @ Sulfide stress corrosion crack in a cold formed hole in a small pressure vessel made of Type 316 stainless steel. The hardness of this material was increased, by cold working, from approximately 150 HB eway from the hole to 285 HB’ at the ourface of the hole. Carbon and low alloy steels may also become more susceptible to failure in certain environments, when dofarmed cold. An etample fo shown im Figure 45-3. This is a sulfide stress corrosion cracking failure of a section of C-75 steel tubing, where the fracture followed a roll mark caused when the tubing had been cold rotary straightened. Hardness in this area vas approximately 280 HB, as compared to the tube proper, which was 235 HB. Figure 45-4 shows the increase in susceptibility of carbon and low alloy steel to sulfide corrosion cracking as a function of the amount of cold reduction. Similar reductions in reedetance to stress corrosion cracking may occur in any cold forming process such as forging, tonging, rolling, swaging or wire drawing. Although minor in camparteion ta the decreace chown in stress corrosion cracking, work hardening may also cause deterioration in chemical corrosion Tesistance, This is observed primarily where one area of the component has experienced plastic deformation and, because of the stored enerev. becomes anodic with respect to the undeformed regions. For example, severe cold working of austenitic stainless steels increases the pitting attack in ferric chloride, Methods of Checking for the Problem Hardness testing is the hest method of checking for vork hardening, and gives a quantitative assessment of its extent. If localized areas of cold working (1.e., tong marks, roll marks, etc.) are suspected, the size of the hardness indentation should be tailored to the size of the suspected cold worked area. 282 BRC-CORP 37-74.F Methods of Eliminating the Problem If the strength obtained by work hardening is not required, the material may be heat treated to restore the original properties. For ferritic paceriala, ehis may generally be accomplished by means of a supercritical anneal. Austenitic materials may also be annealed, and if usceptible to sensitization (see Section 29 on Intergranular Corrosion), should be cooled rapidly after this heat treatment. Most of the effects of work hardening of varbvon aud low alivy steels, wich have been previously quenched and tempered, may be eliminated by stress relieving between 620°C (1148°F) and 10°C (50°F) below the tempering temperature. Pitfalls Increasing the strength level by cold working may cause some allovs to corrode or fail by stress corrosion cracking in environments in which they would normally be resistant. In alluys wich exhibic a nigh rave of work hardening, neavier cuts and slover feeds are required when machining to reduce tool wear. Proserty Reduction by Cold Work, % Figure 45-1 Variation of Hardness and Tensile Properties with the Amount of Cold Work 2s Poccccccccccccce BRC-CORP 37.74.F 283 Magnification: 200K. eee ©000000000 oe i 8 | 2 a4 ei B2 5 | x Fig sis gif 8: a: ae a OOOO SOOO OO OEOOSODOOOOOEO OOOH OOOODEOOOD BRC-CORP 37-74.F a © API Grade 185 A Api Grade C75 16} 1D API Grade x52 229 BAIN 8 249 RHN 198 BHN aL 271 BHN ° 10 20 30 wu Reduction in Area by Cold Rolling, % Figure 45.4 Effect of Cold Working on Resistance to Sulfide Corrosion Cracking 255,