Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 June 2004
This article summarizes findings from our previous investigations and recent studies concerning precipitation in a maraging steel of type 13Cr-9Ni-2Mo-2Cu (at.%) with small additions of Ti (1 at.%) and Al (0.7 at.%). The material was investigated after aging at 475°C up to 400 h using both conventional and three-dimensional atom-probe analyses. The process of phase decomposition in the steel proved to be complicated. It consisted of precipitation of several phases with different chemistry. A Cu-rich phase was first to precipitate and Mo was last in the precipitation sequence. The influence of the complex precipitation path on the material properties is discussed. The investigation clearly demonstrated the usefulness of the applied techniques for investigation of nanoscale precipitation. It is also shown that, complementary methods (such as TEM and EFTEM) giving structural and chemical information on a larger scale must be applied to explain the good properties of the steel after prolonged aging.