Practical On-Site Measurement of Ferrite Content in Austenitic and Duplex Steel Components

Rakesh Bhan

• Duplex steels are often used in welded tanks, pipelines, reactors, or chemical and nuclear plants.
• Components are stressed both mechanically and environmentally. • Testing is required during the manufacturing process as well as at regular intervals.

• Ferrite content determination gives insight into the stability of the steel

• Too low a ferrite content increases the chances of hot cracking • Too high a ferrite content decreases corrosion resistance. forming and corrosion resistance.Ferrite Content Measurement Austenitic Steels • Material specifications often call for a ferrite content which typically lies between 0. brittleness.5 and 12% • Ferrite content influences hot cracking. .

Ferrite Content Measurement Duplex Steels • Duplex steels are becoming more common in chemical and petrochemical industries • Most favorable corrosion resistant properties when ferrite content is between 40% & 60% • Contents are often quoted between 25% & 75% .

stress cracking.Property Advantages Duplex Steel • Duplex steel has better mechanical properties than full austenitic • Duplex steel has better resistance to pitting corrosion. chlorides and general acidic corrosion • These positive attributes only occur when ferrite content lies between specified limits .

Factors That Affect Ferrite Content • Use of the wrong welding rod • Inadequate regulation of heat flow • Incorrect heat treatment • These instances require on-site measurement to determine if the job has been done correctly .

Determining Ferrite Content Metallography • Specimen examined under a microscope • Disadvantages • Ferrite appears in many forms. • Differences in decayed and interact ferrite cannot always be recognized • Metallography is usually a destructive test • Typically a laboratory test but can be used in the field taking up to 20 minutes • Measurement represents tiny portion of structure .

• Method cannot be used on-site .XRay Analysis • Ferrite content can be determined by X-ray Diffraction in a laboratory • Disadvantages • Only ferrite lying in proximity of surface can be detected.Determining Ferrite Content . • Content below 3% cannot be detected.

deliberate and accidental • Method cannot be used strictly on-site • Method can only be used as a rough approximation of the actual ferrite content . the ferrite content of a weld can be determined • Disadvantages • Weld is subject to heat treatment.Determining Ferrite Content Chemical Composition • If the chemical composition is known.

not practical for complicated geometries .Determining Ferrite Content Magnetic Adhesion Method • The force required to lift a magnet of exactly defined shape and field strength is measured • Disadvantages • Measurement is dependent on wall thickness • ferrite content of a thin austenitic cladding on a ferromagnetic material cannot be measured. • The form or structure of the ferrite affects the measurement .

• Measures volume permeability of the sample which relates to all magnetic material i.e. • The field that is created is proportional to the ferrite content. ferrite in the sample .Ferrite Measurement Using FERITSCOPE® FMP30 • FERITSCOPE® FMP30 uses a magnetic induction method with a display and hand probe • A low frequency current flows through the field coil. Alternating magnetic field then penetrates the sample.

Measurement Principles • Magnetic Induction – low frequency alternating magnetic field (168 Hz) • Effects – Ferrite content obtained from the magnetic permeability .

Magnetic Induction Ferrite Content Measurement Measurement Principle > Part 1 Magnetic Induction Method • low frequency alternating magnetic field (168 Hz) Effects • Ferrite content obtained from the magnetic permeability of the ferrite grains Austenitic cladding with ferrite grains on a steel substrate .

Ferrite Content Measurement Measurement Principle > Part 2 Question: How is it possible to define the amount of ferrite content notwithstanding the different permeability of the ferrite grains due to changes of the alloys in the cast? As pointed out in the foregoing. ferrite grain magnetic field of the probe opposed magnetic field of the grain . This means a much lower amplification of the probe field than one would estimate from the “original” grain permeability. opposed to the probe field. than its “effective” permeability would be only μr(eff) = 3 instead of e.g. μr = 300 for the “pure” grain material. If the grain would look like a sphere. The grain displays a so-called “demagnetization factor”. the magnetic field of the probe depends on the permeability of the specimen under test! Answer: The reason is as follows: Through the probe field the grain gets magnetically polarized on its surface and an magnetic field is created. which depends on its geometry.

Ferrite Content Measurement Measurement Principle > Part 3 Consequence of the demagnetization effect on the relative effective permeability µr(eff). the single grains are far away from each other. which defines the measurement signal of the probe. µr(eff) equals the “original” µr of the grain material realtiveeffective peremability µr(eff) . Note: Because of this non-linear dependence of µr(eff) on the ferrite content. Upper limit of the ferrite content measured with Fischer instruments. the measurement error increases with increasing content. The higher the content the closer the grains and their demagnetization factor decreases. Their magnetic fields do not interfere. for a ellipsoidal geometry of the ferrite grain. ferrite content in % . The nonlinear rise of µr(eff) can be explained as follows: At low ferrite contents. At a 100% ferrite content.

® FERITSCOPE • Hand Held measurement device for determining ferrite content FMP 30 .

3-FE • FGABW1.3L-FE .3-FE probe • FBABW1.Probes for FERITSCOPE® FMP 30 • FGAB1.3 FE probe • FGABI1.

Duplex Steel Application • Chemical and Petrochemical Industries typically use duplex steel • Weld cracks could occur on high corrosion resistant duplex stainless steel without proper ferrite content .

Master and Corrective Calibrations • One calibration can’t be used for all applications • Master calibration based on a variety of master standards • Calibration actually stored in the measurement Probe (SMART-Probe) • Master standards represent a wide variety of ferrite contents that have been measured by various test methods .

• A set of standards is available for functional testing and for possible corrective calibration • Standards are used to ensure the accuracy. repeatability and reproducibility of measured values • If a user has specimens of known ferrite content the instrument can be calibrated to them .Master and Corrective Calibrations cont.

2 and 9 FN (0. The Bergakademie Freiberg (Germany) and the Mannesman Corporation of Germany Standard sets carry both FN and % FE values Corrective Calibration Set 1 includes: 0.4. and 110 FN (10.4.5 and 10.5.5 and 10. 30 and 80% FE) • • • • . and 30% FE) Corrective Calibration Set 3 includes: 9.Fischer Calibration Standards • Fischer Standards are traceable to TWI (The Welding Institute. 33. Avesta Company of Sweden. UK). and 33 FN (2. 9.5% FE) Corrective Calibration Set 2 includes: 2. 2.5.

1 to 110 WRC FN No. . • The user can call up these stored calibrations for a specific measurement range • The reading will display in either %Fe or WRC Ferrite No.Master and Corrective Calibrations cont. • Corrective calibrations can be stored.1 to 80% Ferrite or 0. • Measuring range extends from 0.

000 measurements in 1000 blocks • 100 individual applications can be stored • Measurements can be downloaded via RS-232 to both a printer and computer • Statistical evaluation including min. . max. # of measurements. standard deviation.Documentation of Measured Values • The memory capacity of the FERITSCOPE® is 10. etc. and mean value.

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