The interaction of galling and oxidation in 316L stainless steel

Samuel R. Rogers, David Bowden, Rahul Unnikrishnan, Fabio Scenini, Michael Preuss, David Stewart, Daniele Dini, David Dye

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The galling behaviour of 316L stainless steel was investigated in both the non-oxidised and oxidised states, after exposure in simulated pressurised water reactor (PWR) water for 850 h. Galling testing was performed according to ASTM G196 in ambient conditions. 316L was found to gall by the wedge growth and flow mechanism in both conditions. This resulted in folds ahead of the prow and adhesive junction, forming a heavily sheared multilayered prow. The galling trough was seen to have failed through successive shear failure during wedge flow. Immediately beneath the surface a highly sheared nanocrystalline layer was seen, termed the tribologically affected zone (TAZ). It was observed that strain-induced martensite formed within the TAZ. Galling damage was quantified using Rt (maximum height - maximum depth) and galling area (the proportion of the sample which is considered galled), and it was shown that both damage measures decreased significantly on the oxidised samples. At an applied normal stress of 4.2 MPa the galled area was 14% vs. 1.2% and the Rt was 780 μm vs. 26 μm for the non-oxidised and oxidised sample respectively. This trend was present at higher applied normal stresses, although less prominent. This difference in galling behaviour is likely to be a result of a reduction in adhesion in the case of the oxidised surface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number203234
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

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