In situ observation of intergranular crack nucleation in a grain boundary controlled austenitic stainless steel

Salaheddin Rahimi, Dirk Engelberg, Jonathan Duff, James Marrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Grain boundary engineering has been proposed to increase the lifetime performance of sensitized austenitic stainless steel in aggressive environments. Increased microstructure resistance is typically associated with higher fractions of twin (Sigma 3) grain boundaries, but there is uncertainty about the properties and role of other boundaries. To develop predictive models for stress corrosion crack nucleation, more information is required about how grain boundary crystallography and the orientations of the grain boundary plane and its surrounding grains affect crack development. Digital image correlation combined with electron backscatter diffraction has been used to characterize the microstructure and to observe, in situ, the nucleation and propagation of short stress corrosion cracks in thermo-mechanically processed type 304 stainless steel. The crack path and its growth rate have been determined and are found to be influenced by the microstructure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-431
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Issue number3
Early online date27 Feb 2009
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • crack growth
  • digital image correlation (DIC)
  • grain boundary engineering (GBE)
  • in situ observation
  • intergranular stress corrosion (IGSCC)
  • stainless steel

Cite this