Reveal the viscoplastic behaviour and microstructure evolution of stainless steel 316L

Lu, Qiong and Zhang, Chi and Wang, Wei and Jiang, Shuai and Aucott, Lee and Yasmeen, Tabassam and Jiang, Jun (2022) Reveal the viscoplastic behaviour and microstructure evolution of stainless steel 316L. Materials, 15 (20). 7064. ISSN 1996-1944 (

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Stainless steel 316L is a widely used structural material in the nuclear industry because of its excellent corrosion resistance and mechanical properties. However, very little research can be found on its viscoplastic behaviour and microstructure evolution at warm and hot deformation conditions, which hinder the possible application of advanced manufacturing technologies for producing complex parts, such as superplastic forming or hydroforming. The aims of this study are to explore stainless steel 316L’s viscoplastic behaviour, to determine its strain rate sensitivities, and to reveal its underlying microstructure evolution; this will allow appropriate manufacturing (forming) technologies and the optimal forming condition to be determined. Hence, isothermal tensile tests at 700 °C, 800 °C, 900 °C, and 1000 °C at strain rates of 0.01 s−1 and 0.001 s−1 have been conducted. Moreover, the corresponding microstructure evolution, including the grain orientation and geometrically necessary dislocation density, has been revealed by the electron backscatter diffraction method. The data show the viscoplastic behaviour of stainless steel 316L under various thermomechanical deformation conditions and how microstructure evolution influences the viscoplastic flow stress.