• Austenitic structure.
• Good resistance to uniform corrosion.
• Good resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion.
• Very good resistance to stress corrosion cracking.
• Good formability and weld ability.
• Process equipment in the chemical industry.
• Tanks, vessels and pipelines.
• Distillation and purification columns.
Further information on the use of 904L is given on page 5.
Avesta Sheffield 904L is a high-alloy austenitic stainless steel with low carbon content. The grade is intended for use under severe corrosive conditions.
It has been application proved over many years and was originally developed to resist corrosion in dilute sulphuric acid. It is standardised and approved for pressure vessel use in several countries.
904L is fully austenitic, and is less sensitive to precipitation of ferrite and sigma phases than conventional austenitic grades with high molybdenum content. Characteristic temperatures for manufacturing and use are given in Table 2.
Solidification range 1390-1315
Scaling temperature in air 1000
Hal forming 1200-950
Quench onnealing 1120 ±40·
Pressure vessel opproval (-60)-400 * Followed by cooling in water
The chemical composition of specific steel grades may vary slightly between different national product standards. The required standard will be fully met as specified on the order.
International Avesto Typical composition, % National steel designations,
steel No. SheHleld superseded by EN
EN ASTM steel nome C N Cr Ni Mo Others a5 DIN N,F 55
1.4462 531803 2205 0.02 0.17 22 5.7 3.1 - 318513 1.4462 Z3 CND 22-05 AI. 2377
1.4301 304 18·8 0.04 0.06 18.3 8.7 - - 304531 1.4301 Z7 CN 18·09 2333
1.4436 316 17·12-2.5 0.04 0.06 17 11 2.7 - 316533 1.4436 Z7 eND 18·12·03 2343
1.4438 317L IB-14-3L 0.02 O'OB 1B.3 12.2 3.2 - 317512 1.4438 Z3 CND 19-15-04 2367
1.4439 531726 17-14-4LN 0.02 0.14 17.3 12.7 4.2 - - 1.4439 Z3 CND 18- 14-05 AI. -
1.4539 N08904 I 904L 0.01 0.06 20 25 4.5 1.S Cu 904513 1.4539 Z2 NCDU 25·20 2562
1.4547 531254 2545MO® 0.01 0.20 20 18 6.1 Cu - - - 2378 INFORMATION 10999GB; SUPERSEDES INF. 9635
Avesta Sheff/e.ld 904L
Tables 3 and 4 show the mechanical properties, hot rolled plate, transverse to the rolling direction.
Minimum va'lues 20°C
Yield strength RpO•2 Nlmm' 220
Rp1•O N/mm' 250
Tensile strength R N/mm' 500
Elongation As % 35
Hardness HB max. 180
Impact va'lue KCV J/cm' 120 TENSILE PROPERTIES AT ELEVATED TEMPERATURES
Minimum values 50 100 200 300 400°C
RpO•2 N/mm' 190 176 155 136 125
Rp1•0 NImm' 230 210 185 165 155
Rm Nlmm' 490 480 445 4.25 410 ,Physical Properties
Typical values 20·C
Density g/em' 8.0
Modulus of elasticity kN/mm' 200
Thermal expansion 20-100'C x10·6/"C 15
Thermal conductivity WimoC 13
Thermal capacity ,J/kgOC 500
Electrical resistivity nOm 850 Corrosion Resistance UNIFORM CORROSION
Uniform corrosion is characterised by a uniform attack of the steel surface in contact with the corrosive medium.
This type of corrosion may occur in certain acids and hot concentrated alkaline solutions .. Impurities in form of halides, such as chloride, bromide or iodide ions, can accelerate the uniform corrosion rate. This applies especially to cases where halides occur in non-oxidising acids. Resistance to uniform corrosion is normally considered good if the corrosion rate is less than 0.1 mm/year.
As a result of its high chromium, nickel and molybdenum contents and its alloying with copper, 904L is passivated even in reducing environments such as dilute sulphuric acid and formic acid. Its high nickel content contributes towards its relatively low corrosion rate in the active state.
In pure sulphuric acid 904L may be used at temperatures up to 40°C, in the concentration range 0-98% H2S04, Isocorrosion curves are given in Fig. 1. Note that impurities in the acid may reduce or increase the corrosion rate.
In pure phosphoric acid the resistance is very good in the range 0-85% H3P04. In wet process acid (WPA) impurities have a strong effect on the corrosivity. 904L is superior to conventional grades in all kinds of phosphoric acid.
In nitric acid, which is strongly oxidising, 904L is less resistant than highly alloyed steel grades without molybdenum.
In hydrochloric acid the use of 904L is limited to acids of low concentrations, 1-2% HCI. In. this concentration range the resistance of 904L is appreciably better than that of conventional grades.
In organic acids the resistance of 904L is good. Fig. 2 shows isocorrosion curves in formic acid, HCOOH. Table 6 shows the results of corrosion testing in a tall oil factory.
Avesta Sheffield Corrosion rate, mm/year
9041 0.09 Corrosion in a fatty acid column used for the fractionation of tall oil. Tested for one year at 235°C.
A more detailed discussion of the uniform corrosion resistance of Avesta Sheffield stainless steels can be found in the Avesta Sheffield Corrosion Handbook.
PiniNG AND CREVICE CORROSION
Environments containing chlorides may cause pitting attacks on stainless steels, Grades with high content of chromium, molybdenum, and nitrogen possess a high resistance to pitting. Several methods are used to compare the pitting resistance of different grades. One common method is to determine the critical pitting temperature (CPT). This is the lowest temperature at which pitting occurs when the material has been exposed to a
Pitting can easily occur in oxidising chloride environments. In laboratory conditions, it is possible to emulate oxidising conditions by electrochemical means, using a potentiostat to give the steel a high potential. The CPT can then be determined by varying the temperature of the test solution and observing when pitting attacks occur. Using a specially designed test cell, known as the "Avesta Cell", it is possible to eliminate the risk of crevice corrosion altogether, so that the CPT can be determined with a high degree of accuracy. Typical critical temperatures for the occurrence of pitting corrosion on different steel grades
are shown in Fig, 3, As illustrated by Fig. 3, the grade
904L is highly resistant to pitting.
Resistance to crevice corrosion in chloride solutions is also good. However. 254 SMO, which contains 6% molybdenum and 654 SMO, which contains 7% molybdenum, are recommended for applications in which higher resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion is necessary.
Avesta Sheffield 904L
.] 0 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 HzSO.%
Fig. I. Isocorrosion curves, 0.1 nun/year, in pure sulphuric acid.
20L_ __ ~ _J
o 20 40
Fig. 2. Isocorrosion curves, 0.1 nun/year, in formic acid.
The broken curve indicates the boiling point.
17-12-2.5 17-12-3LN 17-14-4LN 904L
Fig. 3. Typical critical pitting temperatures, CPT, in 1M NaCl (The Avesta Cell method, ASTM G 150).
STRESS CORROSION CRACKING
Stress corrosion cracking (SCC) may occur if a material is subjected to tensile stress while in contact with a corrosive medium, usually resulting in the formation of cracks. Tensile stress may be caused by fabrication processes
such as welding and bending.
Ordinary austenitic steels may be sensitive to stress corrosion cracking in a chloride rich environment at temperatures above 60°C. The resistance to SCC is enhanced by elevated levels of nickel and molybdenum in the steel.
Owing to its high nickel and molybdenum contents, 904L is highly resistant to stress corrosion cracking in chloride solutions, concentrated hydroxide solutions and environments rich in hydrogen sulphide.
Many different methods are used for ranking the resistance of various steels to stress corrosion cracking. The ranking may vary somewhat depending on the method used.
One method to evaluate the resistance to SCC is the drop evaporation test (DET). In this test, a uniaxially stressed specimen is initially resistance heated, upon which a dilute sodium chloride solution (O.lM NaCl) is dripped at a rate of 6 drops per minute. The resistance heating is adjusted to allow each drop to evaporate completely before the next drop hits the specimen. Due to the cooling effect of the solution, the surface temperature of the specimen varies slightly around lOO°e. The main purpose of the drop evaporation test is to simulate wetting/evaporation cycles often found in practical applications.
The recorded result is the time to fracture of the specimen. The threshold value of the stress which leads to fracture within 500 hours is determined and expressed as a percentage of the yield strength at 2000e for the steel grade. The threshold values recorded are shown in Fig. 4. A more detailed discussion of the stress corrosion resistance
of Avesta Sheffield stainless steels and the methods used to rank the alternative grades can be found in the
Avesta Sheffield Corrosion Handbook.
Intergranular corrosion is caused by the precipitation of chromium-rich carbides at the grain boundaries under certain heating conditions. As a result, a narrow zone in the vicinity of the grain boundaries is depleted of chromium and corrodes quickly in acid solutions.
Due to the low carbon content of 904L (max. 0.020%), carbides do not precipitate in connection with ordinary heat treatment and welding. The risk of intercrystalline corrosion after ordinary heat treatment and welding is thereby eliminated.
Avesta Sheffield 9041
Applied stress, RJR""" % 100
I _I 80
Fig, 4. see - threshold stresses determined using the DET method,
904L is suited to hot forming processes in the temperature range 1200-950°C. Higher temperatures will reduce the formability of the steel while also increasing the formation of annealing scale.
If the final hot forming operation is performed well above the recrystallisation temperature, i.e. above
I 100°C, and is followed by rapid cooling, a subsequent annealing is not required. It is important that the entire component is kept at this temperature. In the case of partial heating or partially delayed cooling, heat treatment is necessary.
904L possesses good cold formability. Bending, pressing and other forming operations which occur at fabrication can be carried out without difficulty. As with other austenitic steels, intermediate annealing might be necessary in connection with the more complicated forming operations such as deep drawing.
The degree of cold working and the ultimate application determine whether annealing of the finished component is necessary,
Like other austenitic steels, 904L is tough and has a tendency towards work-hardening. This must be taken into account when the grade is machined.
With the right choice of tool and machine data, fully satisfactory machining results can be obtained with this grade.
Since 904L is a fully austenitic steel, welding requires particular care and a high level of competence. In the event of doubt concerning welding, the advice of Avesta Welding or R&D specialists should be obtained.
Under normal welding conditions, there is relatively little risk of cracking of the weld metal during solidification, although the risk may be marginally higher than for conventional austenitic steel grades.
Due to their higher coefficient of thermal expansion and lower coefficient of thermal conductivity, 904L and other austenitic steels have a greater tendency than carbon steel towards deformation in conjunction with welding.
The steel can be welded by methods such as manual metal arc, GMAW (MIG), GTAW eTIG), submerged arc and plasma arc welding. Welding methods that involve a high heat input may increase the risk of hot cracking.
Avesta Welding AB manufactures both covered electrodes and filler wire. The filler metal has the designation Avesta 904L.
904L stainless steel can be welded to unalloyed steel using electrodes of type Avesta 904L or Avesta P5.
GMA welding should be performed using a shielding gas consisting of 30% argon and 70% helium or 69% argon, 30% helium and 1 % oxygen.
In order to obtain a welded joint with the same corrosion resistance as that of the parent material, heat input should be kept low, Small-diameter electrodes, low welding current and high rate of advancement give low heat input. This will also ensure rapid cooling. In multipass welds the next pass should be started when the bead temperature is below 100°C.
In oxidising, chloride solutions an overalloyed consumable, Avesta P12, may be used as an alternative to Avesta 904L.
Post-weld heat treatment is normally not necessary, but if such heat treatment is considered desirable, it should be carried out as quench annealing.
Further information regarding joint designs, welding methods, etc., is found in the Avesta Welding leaflet How to weld 904L, Inf. No. 9476:2.
Avesta 904L C Si Mn Cr Ni Mo Cu FN
Welding wire 0.02 0.35 1.7 20 25 4,5 l.5 0
Covered electrode 0.03 0.5 1.5 20 25 4,5 1.5 0
PW-electrode 0,02 1.0 1.5 20 2S 4.5 1.5 0 4
Avesta Sheffield 9041
904L is used in various product forms in process equipment in the chemical industry. Some examples are given below:
Manufacture of Equipment
Acetic add Distillation columns.
Acetylene Purification columns. Pipes and
tanks for sulphuric acid.
Acrylates Reactor for esterification.
Acrylonitrile Pipes after reactor.
Aluminium Reactor, agitator and pipelines.
Ammonium Scrubbers and fans in gas
phosphate treatment systems.
Ammonium Crystallisers, pipelines.
BaHeryacid Tanks and pipelines.
Benzene Pipes, agitators, neutralising
(from eeke) vessels.
Butyl acetate Columns for esterification.
Caprolactam Reacto:rs, pipelines end
containers in sections for
synthesis. Pipelines and
crystallisers in the purification
Cellophane Desulphurising bath.
Citric acid Dissolving tank.
Fatty acids Reactor and contclners for
sulphuric acid treatment.
Iso-butanol Vessels and pipelines.
Nitrophosphate Pipelines and containers in the
gas treatment system.
Oxalic acid Dissolving tanks.
Phenol Reactor, pipelines in spliHing
Phosphoric acid Agitator, pipelines, filters.
Phthalic anhydride Distillation columns.
Polyvinyl alcohol Reactor.
Rayon Equipment in contact with
Sulphuric acid Equipment for the storage and
transport of sulphuric acid,
Superiphosphate Parts of the reactor, pipelines.
Tall oil Containers for crude tall oil.
Parts of distillation columns.
Tartaric acid Evaporators, agitators,
centrifuges and pipelines in the
later stages of the process.
Uranium oxide Agitators, injection tubes.
Zinc sulphate DissolVing tanks, agitators,
HOT ROLLED PLATE
Dimensions according to Avesta Sheffield AB's manufacturing programme.
COLD ROLLED SHEET AND PLATE (KBR) Dimensions according to Avesta Sheffield AB's manufacturing programme.
COLD ROLLED SHEET AND COIL
Dimensions according to Avesta Sheffield AB' s manufacturing programme.
BAR AND FORGINGS
Shapes and sizes on request.
WELDED TUBE AND PIPE
Manufactured by AST (Avesta Sandvik Tube AB), Sweden.
Welding fittings, threaded fittings and flanges are manufactured by Calamo Nords AB, Molkom, Sweden, and Avesta ABE AB, Ornskoldsvik, Sweden.
Covered electrodes and welding wire of type Avesta 904L are produced by Avesta Welding AB, Avesta, Sweden.