Intergranular Corrosion (IC)
Comparison of grades 316 (1.4401) and 316L (1.4404/1.4432) to 316Ti (1.4571)
When austenitic stainless steels are subject to prolonged heating in the temperature range 425-815C, the carbon in the steel diffuses to the grain boundaries and precipitates chromium carbide. This removes chromium from the solid solution and leaves a lower chromium content adjacent to the grain boundaries. Steels in this condition are termed 'sensitised'. The grain boundaries become prone to preferential atack on subsequent exposure to a corrosive environment. This type of corrosion is known as intergranular corrosion (IC), also known in the past as 'weld decay'.
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