Non-destructive Micro-structural Characterization of Metallic Specimens with a Portable X-ray Diffraction based Residual Stress Analyzer

P. Ganesh, D. C. Nagpure, Rakesh Kaul, R. K. Gupta, L. M. Kukreja


Non-destructive characterization of surface microstructure of an engineering component is an important parameter to assess its fitness to function in the given service conditions. The paper describes various case studies performed in authors’ laboratory involving use of portable X-ray diffraction based residual stress analysis system to examine and understand the micro-structural state of the investigated surface. A significant decrease in full width at half maximum (FWHM) of gamma(311) diffraction peak from about 4.2° in the cold worked state to about 2.5° in the annealed/surface melted state was recorded for austenitic stainless steel. In case of 0.4% carbon steel there is sharp increase in FWHM of alpha(211) diffraction peak from about 2° in the as received condition to about 5-6° in the laser hardened condition. Crystallographic texture developed during electro-plating of chromium on stainless steel, could be detected from the strong intensity of alpha (211) peak of chromium at about 19° to the surface normal with respect to all other X-ray inclination angles (ѱ) during residual stress measurement. The results show that FWHM and intensity variation of the diffraction peak are two sensitive parameters for characterization of surface microstructure. Change in FWHM has been used to detect machining-induced cold deformation and evolution of re-crystallized grains in austenitic stainless steel and formation of hard martensite in laser transformation hardened ferritic steel. Variation in the intensity of diffracted peak with respect to X-ray inclination angle provided valuable information regarding crystallographic texture in hard chrome plated deposits.

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Studies in Engineering and Technology   ISSN 2330-2038 (Print)   ISSN 2330-2046 (Online)

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