Austenitic stainless steels, especially AISI 304 and 316L, are recognized for their high mechanical strength, toughness and corrosion resistance in various applications. Sensitization in AISI 304 and the presence of manganese sulfide (MnS) in AISI 316L are the main causes of susceptibility to intergranular and pitting corrosion, respectively. Sensitized steels and steels with high concentration of MnS require costly treatment processes to recover corrosion resistance. Since electrochemical corrosion is a process initiated on the surface, laser surface remelting (LSR) can be a fast and effective method for carbide dissolution and MnS evaporation, given the process characteristics: high energy density, heating and cooling rates. This work has as objective the recovery by LSR of sensitized steels and steels compromised by MnS. Heat treatments will be applied with the aid of thermodynamic calculations, inducing sensitization in AISI 304 and formation of MnS in AISI 316L after modification with S, to favor the formation of MnS. The steels as received, after heat treatment and remelted with LASER with different energy densities, will be chemically and microstructurally characterized. In addition, their susceptibility to intergranular corrosion (ASTM A262, Practice A), degree of sensitization (ISO 12732) and resistance to chloride induced corrosion will be evaluated, the latter investigated by cyclic potentiodynamic polarization (ASTM G61) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy in 0.6 M NaCl solution. The aim is to correlate the thermal cycle induced by LSR with: dissolution and prevention of chromium carbide reprecipitation and MnS vaporization. By the end, we expect to verify the effectiveness of LSR as a surface engineering technology for the recovery of austenitic stainless steels compromised by sulfides and carbides.
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