"304 and stress releiving"

Question:

"My question centers around 304 stainless steel stress relieving.I would like to stress relieve a 304 weldment in my own furnace.I can only seem to find a process specification for a full anneal @1900'F with a rapid quench.I don't believe I need to do this to a stainless steel weldment.I am not using 304L,and I just want to be able to hold tight machined tolerances after welding.Experimenting on some smaller parts I heated them to 800'F for 1 hour and let them cool to room temperature.The parts machined like butter and did not move after this.Is this low temperature doing anything to my metal or am I just kidding myself?"

Answer:

The austenitic stainless steels, i.e., 304SS, 316SS are normally not "stress relieved" due to the reduced corrosion resistance these alloys exhibit in corrosive media, resulting from exposure to temperatures between ~800-1500F. If you have no corrosion concerns, based on the intended service, then you can certainly stress relieve instead of conducting a solution anneal.

 

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