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a. This test is used to measure the strength of a welded joint. A portion of a to locate the
welded plate is locate the weld midway between the jaws of the testing machine (fig. 136).
The width thickness of the test specimen are measured before testing, and the area in
square inches is calculated by multiplying these before testing , and the area in square
inches is calculated by multiplying these two figures (see formula, fig. 13-6). The tensile
test specimen is then mounted in a machine that will exert enough pull on the piece to
break the specimen. The testing machining may be either a stationary or a portable type. A
machine of the portable type, operating on the hydraulic principle and capable of pulling as
well as bending test specimens, is shown in figure 13-7. As the specimen is being tested in
this machine, the load in pounds is registered on the gauge. In the stationary types, the
load applied may be registered on a balancing beam. In either case, the load at the point of
breaking is recorded. Test specimens broken by the tensile strength test are shown in figure


a. General. Hardness may be defined as the ability of a substance to resist indentation of

localized displacement. The hardness test usually applied is a nondestructive test, used
primarily in the laboratory and not to any great extent in the field. Hardness tests are used
as a means of controlling the properties of materials used for specific purposes after the
desired hardness has been established for the particular application. A hardness test is used
to determine the hardness of weld metal. By careful testing of a welded joint, the hard
areas can be isolated and the extent of the effect of the welding heat on the properties of
the base metal determined.

b. Hardness Testing Equipment.

(1) File test. The simplest method for determining comparative hardness is the file
test. It is performed by running a file under manual pressure over the piece being
tested. Information may be obtained as to whether the metal tested is harder or
softer than the file or other materials that have been given the same treatment.

(2) Hardness testing machines.

(a) General. There are several types of hardness testing machines. Each of
them is singular in that its functional design best lends itself to the particular
field or application for which the machine is intended. However, more than
one type of machine can be used on a given metal, and the hardness values
obtained can be satisfactorily correlated. Two types of machines are used
most commonly in laboratory tests for metal hardness: the Brinell hardness
tester and the Rockwell hardness tester.

(b) Brinell hardness tester. In the Brinell tests, the specimen is mounted on
the anvil of the machine and a load of 6620 lb (3003 kg) is applied against a
hardened steel ball which is in contact with the surface of the specimen being
tested. The steel ball is 0.4 in. (10.2 mm) in diameter. The load is allowed to
remain 1/2 minute and is then released, and the depth of the depression
made by the ball on the specimen is measured. The resultant Brinell hardness
number is obtained by the following formula:

It should be noted that, in order to facilitate the determination of Brinell

hardness, the diameter of the depression rather than the depth is actually
measured. Charts of Brinell hardness numbers have been prepared for a
range of impression diameters. These charts are commonly used to determine
Brinell numbers.

(c) Rockwell hardness tester. The principle of the Rockwell tester is essentially
the same as the Brinell tester. It differs from the Brinell tester in that a lesser
load is impressed on a smaller ball or cone shaped diamond. The depth of the
indentation is measured and indicated on a dial attached to the machine. The
hardness is expressed in arbitrary figures called "Rockwell numbers." These
are prefixed with a letter notation such as "B" or "C" to indicate the size of the
ball used, the impressed load, and the scale used in the test.


a. Effects of Ferrite Content. Fully austenitic stainless steel weld deposits have a tendency
to develop small fissures even under conditions of minimal restraint. These small fissures
tend to be located transverse to the weld fusion line in weld passes and base metal that
were reheated to near the melting point of the material by subsequent weld passes. Cracks
are clearly injurious defects and cannot be tolerated. On the other hand, the effect of
fissures on weldment performance is less clear, since these micro-fissures are quickly
blurted by the very tough austenitic matrix. Fissured weld deposits have performed
satisfactorily under very severe conditions. However, a tendency to form fissures generally
goes hand-in-hand with a tendency for larger cracking, so it is often desirable to avoid
fissure-sensitive weld metals.

b. The presence of a small fraction of the magnetic delta ferrite phase in an otherwise
austenitic (nonmagnetic) weld deposit has an influence in the prevention of both centerline
cracking and fissuring. The amount of delta ferrite in as-welded material is largely controlled
by a balance in the weld metal composition between the ferrite-promoting elements
(chromium, silicon, molybdenum, and columbium are the most common) and the austenite-
promoting elements (nickel, manganese, carbon, and nitrogen are the most common).
Excessive delta ferrite, however, can have adverse effects on weld metal properties. The
greater the amount of delta ferrite, the lower will be the weld metal ductility and toughness.
Delta ferrite is also preferentially attacked in a few corrosive environments, such as urea. In
extended exposure to temperatures in the range of 900 to 1700F (482 to 927C), ferrite
tends to transform in part to a brittle intermetallic compound that severely embrittles the

c. Portable ferrite indicators are designed for on-site use. Ferrite content of the weld deposit
may indicated in percent ferrite and may be bracketed between two values. This provides
sufficient control in most applications where minimum ferrite content or a ferrite range is


Industrial processing and chemical plants work at high temperatures and pressures, with
often aggressive media and stainless steel is often the material of choice for these
applications. If the ferrite content of the steel steel is too low, then welding of stainless
material may crack at elevated temperature or with high stress or vibration. Alternatively, if
the ferrite content is too high, the weld may be weaker and corrode.

To address the need to measure the amount of ferrite in a sample the Welding Research
Council introduced the Ferrite Number (FN) as standardised value which related to the
ferrite content of an equivalently magnetic weld metal.
The volume percentage of ferrite can be estimated as about 70% of the FN but the
relationship depends upon the type and origin of the stainless steel used and the
measurement technique.

The Diverse Ferrite meter MF300F+ measures the Ferrite number (FN) of austenitic and
duplex stainless steel weld material. It has a probe that is sensitive to ferrite content in a 10
mm area to a depth of approximately 1 mm. The instrument is calibrated using the
secondary world standards held at The Welding Institute. All 16 standards are used in the
calibration giving an instrument with a measurement range from 0 to 115 FN. Transfer
standards are supplied with the instrument allowing performance to be verified at any time.
Significance and Use

The tensile and impact properties, the weldability, and the corrosion resistance of iron-
chromium-nickel alloy castings may be influenced beneficially or detrimentally by the ratio of
the amount of ferrite to the amount of austenite in the microstructure. The ferrite content may be
limited by purchase order requirements or by the design construction codes governing the
equipment in which the castings will be used. The quantity of ferrite in the structure is
fundamentally a function of the chemical composition of the alloy and its thermal history.
Because of segregation, the chemical composition, and, therefore, the ferrite content, may differ
from point to point on a casting. Determination of the ferrite content by any of the procedures
described in the following practice is subject to varying degrees of imprecision which must be
recognized in setting realistic limits on the range of ferrite content specified. Sources of error
include the following:

In Determinations from Chemical CompositionDeviations from the actual quantity of each

element present in an alloy because of chemical analysis variance, although possibly minor in
each case, can result in substantial difference in the ratio of total ferrite-promoting to total
austenite-promoting elements. Therefore, the precision of the ferrite content estimated from
chemical composition depends on the accuracy of the chemical analysis procedure.

In Determinations from Magnetic ResponsePhases other than ferrite and austenite may be
formed at certain temperatures and persist at room temperature. These may so alter the magnetic
response of the alloy that the indicated ferrite content is quite different from that of the same
chemical composition that has undergone different thermal treatment. Also, because the magnets
or probes of the various measuring instruments are small, different degrees of surface roughness
or surface curvature will vary the magnetic linkage with the material being measured.

In Determinations from Metallographic ExaminationMetallographic point count estimates of

ferrite percentage may vary with the etching technique used for identification of the ferrite phase
and with the number of grid points chosen for the examination, as explained in Test Method

The estimation of ferrite percent by chemical composition offers the most useful and most
common method of ferrite control during melting of the metal.

For most accurate estimate of ferrite percent, a quantitative metallographic method should be

1. Scope

1.1 This practice covers procedures and definitions for estimating ferrite content in certain grades
of austenitic iron-chromium-nickel alloy castings that have compositions balanced to create the
formation of ferrite as a second phase in amounts controlled to be within specified limits.
Methods are described for estimating ferrite content by chemical, magnetic, and metallographic

1.2 The grades covered by this practice are: CF-3, CF-3A, CF-8, CF-8A, CF-3M, CF-3MA, CF-
8M, CF-8C, CG-8M, and CH-10.

1.3 The values stated in either inch-pound units or SI units are to be regarded separately as
standard. The values stated in each system are not exact equivalents; therefore, each system must
be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in
nonconformance with the practice.

1.3.1 Within the text, the SI units are shown in brackets.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use.
It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health
practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

2. Referenced Documents

ASTM Standards
A351/A351M Specification for Castings, Austenitic, for Pressure-Containing Parts
A370 Test Methods and Definitions for Mechanical Testing of Steel Products
A799/A799M Practice for Steel Castings, Stainless, Instrument Calibration, for Estimating
Ferrite Content
A941 Terminology Relating to Steel, Stainless Steel, Related Alloys, and Ferroalloys
E353 Test Methods for Chemical Analysis of Stainless, Heat-Resisting, Maraging, and Other
Similar Chromium-Nickel-Iron Alloys
E562 Test Method for Determining Volume Fraction by Systematic Manual Point Count
Constitution Diagrams
American Welding Society Specification
AWSA4.2, Procedures for Calibrating Magnetic Instruments to Measure the Delta Ferrite
Content of Austenitic Stainless Steel Weld Metal

Index Terms

austenite; austenitic stainless steel; ferrite; Schoefer Diagram; steel castings; Austenitic stainless
steel castings; Ferrite content; Iron-chromium castings; Microstructures; Visual examination--
steel ; ICS Number Code 77.140.80 (Iron and steel castings)

DOI: 10.1520/A0800_A0800M-10

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