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A Standard Reference Material Containing Nominally Four Percent Austenite

  • G.E. Hicho (a1), H. Yakowitz (a1), S.D. Rasberry (a1) and R.E. Michaelis (a1)


This standard was produced by powder metallurgical techniques using known amounts of austenite. Using these techniques, 134 specimens were prepared. Because these standards are expected to be used primarily for the calibration of X-ray diffraction equipment, only one surface of each standard is certified, and these surfaces range from 3.1 percent to 5.2 percent in austenite content. To make the specimens, 310 stainless steel powder (austenitid) was blended with 430 stainless steel powder (ferritic) to make a mixture of 5 percent austenite in ferrite. The material was compacted, sintered, polished and etched so the austenite appears white and the ferrite, a deep brown. Then quantitative microscopy methods were used to determine the percentage of austenite near the surface. Furthers more, the 310 powder contains 20 percent of nickel while the 430 powder contains virtually no nickel. Therefore, after establishing a meaningful calibration curve, X-ray fluorescence analysis for the nickel content was also used as a direct measurement of the amount of retained austenite on the surface of the compact. Both procedures were carried out on fifteen specimens statistically selected from the total number of compacts produced. Agreement, within experimental error limits, was obtained between the X-ray fluorescence results and quantitative microscopy results. The X-ray fluorescence method was used to characterize all additional compacts. X-ray diffraction determinations of austenite content are in good agreement with the X-ray fluorescence and quantitative microscopy results. The compacts may be used as X-ray diffraction standards for austenite or in special cases as X-ray fluorescence standards for nickel content.



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1. Ogilvie, R. E., “Retained Austenite by X- rays”, Norelco Reporter, VI, 3, 60 (1959).
2. Moore, G. A., “Automatic Scanning and Computer Processes for the Quantitative Analysis of Micrographs and Equivalent Subjectsin Pictorial Pattern Recognition, Thompson Book Co., Washington, D. C. p. 275 (1968).
3. Claisse, F. and Samson, C., “Heterogeneity Effects in X- ray Analysis”, Advances in X- ray Analysis, 5, 335 (1962).


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