1.1 This practice covers the procedure for calibration of instruments to be used for estimating the ferrite content of the microstructure of cast stainless steels by magnetic response or measurement of permeability. This procedure covers both primary and secondary instruments.
1.1.1 A primary instrument is one that has been calibrated using National Institute of Standards and Technology-Standard Reference Material (NIST-SRM) thickness coating standards. It is a laboratory tool to be used with test specimens. Some primary instruments may be used to directly measure the ferrite content of castings.
1.1.2 A secondary instrument is one that has been calibrated by the use of secondary standards that have been measured by a calibrated primary instrument. Secondary instruments are to be used to directly measure the ferrite content of castings.
1.2 The values stated in either inch-pound units or SI units are to be regarded separately as standard. Within the text, the SI units are shown in brackets. The values stated in each system are not exact equivalents; therefore, each system must be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in nonconformance with the specification.
1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
The amount of ferrite present in an austenitic stainless steel has been shown to influence the strength, toughness and corrosion resistance of this type of cast alloy. The amount of ferrite present tends to correlate well with the magnetic permeability of the steel. The methods described in this standard cover calibration practice for estimating ferrite by the magnetic permeability of the steel. The practice is inexpensive to use over large areas of the cast part and is non-destructive.
This practice has been used for research, alloy development, quality control, and manufacturing control.
Many instruments are available having different designs, and different principles of operation. When the probe is placed on the material being investigated, a closed magnetic circuit is formed allowing measurement of the magnetic permeability. When calibrated with standards having known ferrite content, this permeability indicates the ferrite content of the material being analyzed. The estimated ferrite content is read from a calibrated dial or from a digital-readout dial. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper calibration of the instrument.
Since this practice measures magnetic attraction and not ferrite directly, it is subject to all of the variables that affect magnetic permeability, such as the shape, size, orientation, and composition of the ferrite phase. These in turn are affected by thermal history. Ferrite measurements by magnetic methods have also been found to be affected by the surface finish of the material being analyzed.
Magnetic methods should not be used for arbitration of conflicts on ferrite content except when agreed upon between manufacturer and purchaser.