Damian J. Kotecki




Duplex stainless steels (DSS, including super duplex stainless steels {SDSS}) have proven to be
very useful engineering materials, albeit with somewhat different welding requirements than those of the more familiar austenitic stainless steels. Despite a generally good track record in welding of duplex stainless steels, certain pitfalls have been encountered with enough frequency that they deserve review. Inappropriate base metal specification often leads to unsuitable heat affected zone (HAZ) properties. Autogenous fusion zones are also of concern. This issue centers on nitrogen limits. The most frequently encountered is applying the UNS S31803 composition for 2205 DSS, instead of the S32205 composition. Inappropriate welding heat input arises most frequently with SDSS. While 0.5 to 1.5 kJ/mm is a normal heat input recommendation for SDSS, either a root pass or many small beads towards the low end of this heat input range tends to result in precipitation and/or secondary austenite formation in weld metal subjected to repeated thermal cycles from multiple weld passes.
Inappropriate PWHT occurs when the enhanced nickel filler metals (typically 9% Ni) are used. DSS are not normally given PWHT, but extensive forming of heads, for example, or repair welding of castings, may require a post-weld anneal. Specifications such as ASTM A790 and A890 call for annealing at 1040 °C minimum, and the fabricator tends to use temperatures close to that minimum. However, the enhanced nickel filler metals require higher temperatures to dissolve sigma phase that forms during heating to the annealing temperature.