Testing stainless steel following heat treatment

Ferrite Testing

Stainless steels are among the most useful metals in the world. One of the things that make them great for so many uses is that the raw metal can undergo various types of heat treatment. This can help to change and improve the properties. However, it is important to ensure treating the steel provides the right performance balance. Ferrite testing is an effective way to determine this.

The idea with this type of non-destructive testing is to ensure the stainless steel has suitable ferrite content. If it does, it will provide the right balance of toughness, crack prevention, and corrosion resistance. However, if the heat treatment has been insufficient, the material may be lacking in these areas.

Types of heat treatment

There are many different ways to heat treat stainless steel. This includes:

  • Annealing – including solution treatment, quenching, process, and stabilising anneal
  • Hardening – combining tempering, quenching and austenitising
  • Stress relieving – at high or low temperatures

It is very important to control conditions when heat treating stainless steel. Failing to do so can allow issue such as scaling, carburisation, or decarburisation.

Ferrite testing

After heat treatment it is a really good idea to test the stainless steel to determine its ferrite content and properties. Typically this kind of testing utilises magnetic induction, however there are some other methods. Whatever method it is though, the tests can provide fast, reliable results.

FT is also useful for testing stainless steel after welding. The heat when creating the weld can affect the ferrite content and performance in the weld zone. It is vital to test here to ensure that there are no issue such as spots with less corrosion resistance, insufficient hardness, or other weaknesses that will affect the performance.

Contact us for expert testing

Format NDT Ltd is a market leader when it comes to non-destructive testing. We have experts that can offer a full range of options for our clients. This includes FT, MPI, DPI, UT, and more. As a result, we can provide a comprehensive solution.

If you want to arrange ferrite testing or any other type of NDT, contact us. We can take care of it for you and have excellent equipment to ensure accurate results.