Multiscale characterisation of the mechanical properties of austenitic stainless steel joints

P. Efthymiadis, Richard Dashwood, B. Shollock, L. Curry, H. Ghadbeigi, A. Barrow, D. Robertson

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A multiscale investigation was pursued in order to obtain the strain distribution and evolution during tensile testing both at the macro- and micro-scale for a diffusion bonded 316L stainless steel. The samples were designed for the purpose to demonstrate that the bond line properties were equal or better than the parent material in a sample geometry that was extracted from a larger component. The macroscopic stress-strain curves were coupled to the strain distributions using a camera-based 2D – Digital Image Correlation system. Results showed significant amount of plastic deformation predominantly concentrated in shear bands which were extended over a large region, crossing through the joint area. Yet it was not possible to be certain whether the joint has shown significant plastic deformation. In order to obtain the joints’ mechanical response in more detail, in situ micromechanical testing was conducted in the SEM chamber that allowed areas of 1x1 mm2 and 50x50 mm2 to be investigated.The size of the welded region was rather small to be accurately captured from the camera based DIC system. Therefore a microscale investigation was pursued where the samples were tested within an SEM chamber. Low magnification SEM imaging was utilised in order to cover a viewing area of 1 mm×1 mm while high magnification SEM imaging was employed to provide evidence of the occurrence of plastic deformation within the joint, at an area of just 50 μm×50 μm. The strain evolution over the microstructural level, within the joint and at the base material was obtained. The local strains were highly non-homogeneous through the whole test. Final failure occurred approximately 0.2 mm away from the joint. Large local strains were measured within the joint region, while SEM imaging showed that plastic deformation occurs via the formation of strong slip bands, followed by the activation of additional slip systems upon further plastic deformation which end up in additional slip bands to form on the surface. Plastic deformation occurred by slip and twinning mechanisms. Upon necking, significant out of plane deformations and slip deformation mechanisms were observed which suggested that plastic deformation was also happening at the last stages of damage evolution for the specific alloy. This was also evident from the large difference between the 600 MPa UTS stress value and the low stress values before final failure (which in many cases was below 30 MPa).
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Materials Science and Engineering: A. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Materials Science and Engineering: A, VOL 676, (2016)] DOI: 10.1016/j.msea.2016.08.020

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-335
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: A
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Due to publisher policy, the full text is not available on the repository until the 27th of August 2017.


  • In situ testing
  • DIC
  • Stainless steel
  • Bonding
  • Plastic deformation
  • Failure


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