During a project on the development of sensors for the powder metallurgy industry, NIST has developed a technique for production of nitrogenated stainless steel alloys with enhanced corrosion and mechanical properties. Discussions with metal powder producers are underway to develop commercial powder metallurgy alloys using the NIST process that will find applications in biomedical implant devices, light-weight armor plate, and other demanding environments. NIST developed this technique through work on a model for prediction of nitrogen solubility and microstructure in modified 300 series stainless steel alloys.
The new powder metallurgy nitrogenated stainless steel alloys are single phase (austenite) with no tendency to form the embrittling nitride and sigma phase compounds often found in high nitrogen stainless steels. The unique microstructure results in consolidated parts with superior corrosion and mechanical properties compared to commercially available wrought alloys, and reduced costs compared to other powder metallurgy nitrogenated stainless steel alloys.
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