Effect of deep cryogenic treatment on corrosion behavior of AISI H13 die steel

Shinde, Tarang and Pruncu, Catalin and Dhokey, Narendra B. and Parau, Anca C. and Vladescu, Alina (2021) Effect of deep cryogenic treatment on corrosion behavior of AISI H13 die steel. Materials, 14 (24). 7863. ISSN 1996-1944 (https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14247863)

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AISI H13 die steel specimens were subjected to heating at 1020 °C followed by oil quenching and double tempering at 520 °C. Subsequently, these specimens were subjected to deep cryogenic treatment at −185 °C in liquid nitrogen environment for 16 h and then subjected to soft tempering at 100 °C once the specimens attained room temperature. Thereafter, the specimens were subjected to scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis. The electrochemical corrosion activity was investigated in 3.5% NaCl at 23 ± 0.5 °C by evaluating the evolution of open circuit potential over time and potentiodynamic curves, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy study was also carried out. The heat-treated specimens exhibited better resistance to corrosion through more electropositive values of open circuit potential. This could be attributed to lower grain boundary area in heat-treated specimens as compared to 16 h cryogenically treated specimen as higher grain boundary areas behave as an anode in an electrochemical cell, thereby enhancing the rate of corrosion. According to electrochemical tests, the cryogenically treated surface is more resistant to corrosion, followed by heated alloy. However, both surface modification treatments improved the corrosion behavior of the untreated alloy.