Effects of Aging at 450°C on the Pitting Corrosion Resistance and Toughness of AISI 317L Steel Welded by GTAW and FSW

Austenitic stainless steels are high corrosion resistant alloys widely used in many industrial fields. Among this family of steels, AISI 317L stands out due to its higher localized corrosion resistance when compared to the traditional grades AISI 304L and AISI 316L. In some applications in oil refineries, the AISI 317L is being specified for services at moderately high temperatures. At the same time as it is sought to use new stainless steels, is also desirable to apply and develop emerging welding processes, replacing conventional ones, in order to achieve better behavior in service. In this respect, this work studied the effects of thermal aging on the toughness and resistance to pitting corrosion of AISI 317L steel weld metals produced by the Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) and Friction Stir Welding (FSW) joining processes. After prolonged exposures at 450°C, for 200h, 300h and 400h, the microstructural characterization by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), toughness evaluation and anodic polarization tests in 3.5% NaCl solution were performed. The results showed that the increase of the exposure time in both weld metals caused a toughness decrease. The pitting potentials measured in the polarization tests also decreased with the aging at 450ºC.