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Lean austenitic type 16.8.2 stainless steel

weld metal
Authors: Abstract This paper reviews the weld metal
A W Marshall and J C M Farrar The so-called 'lean 316' (type compositions and consumable
Metrode Products Limited, UK 16.8.2) weld metals have been product forms available and
available for more than 40 years, presents new data on thermal
Keywords: but their characteristics and virtues stability. Useful information on
Austenitic, 16-8-2, 308L, 316L, appear to have been either cryogenic toughness and hot
cryogenic lateral expansion, hot overlooked or neglected. They cracking resistance is assessed,
cracking, stress-rupture, dissimilar display an unusual combination of along with high temperature
properties, including excellent high properties which are relevant to
temperature microstructural applications in the power
1. Introduction stability, impressive resistance to generation, petrochemical and
hot cracking at very low ferrite (FN) process engineering industries.
This paper reviews the unusual levels, and very good cryogenic Finally, the use of 16.8.2 weld
combination of properties found in toughness. Thus in principle a metal in elevated temperature
nominally 16Cr-8Ni-2Mo weld metals. single composition may offer dissimilar welds is described.
These properties include excellent robust structural properties from
high temperature microstructural -196 C to 800 C.
stability, high resistance to hot
cracking at very low ferrite (FN) shows that martensite may be 17Creq, although Figure 2 shows that
levels, and good cryogenic expected in the as-deposited weld the 16.8.2 specification range extends
toughness. Some of these metal. down to 15.5Creq. Fortunately,
characteristics and virtues appear to extension of the WRC iso-ferrite lines
be largely overlooked or neglected. It However, the appendices to AWS provides satisfactory agreement
is worth noting that no reference to A5.4 and A5.9 state that 16.8.2 weld between prediction and
16.8.2 weld metal appears in metal will typically show below 5FN, measurement, and the ferrite lines
Folkard's standard text on the welding and there seems to be no evidence are shown extended to Kotecki's
metallurgy of stainless steels. that commercial weld metals contain martensite boundary in Figure 2.
martensite, although it is recognised
Table 1 gives the AWS and recently
introduced EN specification limits for
that lean austenitic compositions will 2.1 Heat treatment and
be susceptible to strain-induced
SMAW (MMA) weld metal and the martensite formation
martensite. Recently, these leaner
solid wire composition used for the compositions have been studied
GTAW/GMAW/SAW processes. [3]
thoroughly by Kotecki using plain The lean composition and low ferrite
These are almost equivalent except Cr-Ni alloys. Kotecki's work explains typically found in 16.8.2 type weld
for the inexplicably higher minimum the observed martensite-free metals provide excellent
molybdenum in EN1600. For microstructure of 16.8.2 and corrects microstructural stability and ductility
historical completeness, the the misleading predictions of previous retention for service at elevated
specification limits are also included constitution diagrams. temperature or after stress relief
for the related type 17.8.2 in BS 2926, PWHT. In a recent case, ferrite
where the overall alloying level, Figure 2 places the Figure 1 stability was assessed for TIG
particularly chromium, is somewhat composition area for 16.8.2 (box 1) ER16.8.2, ER316H and SMAW
higher. However, it is common on the modified WRC diagram with E17.8.2 weld metal pads by exposure
practice to generically describe all the Kotecki's martensite boundary zone at 750 C for up to 5h. Under these
types listed as "lean 316 alloys". for welds with around 1 %Mn. The conditions, initial ferrite usually
lower boundary to this zone, declines with transformation to
2. Microstructure corresponding closely to the austenite plus chromium carbides
appearance of as-deposited (M23C6), often followed by (non-
martensite, is touched only by the magnetic) intermetallics such as
The first published reference to 16.8.2 [1,4]
leanest corner of 16.8.2. Below this sigma or chi-phase.
in 1956 describes the development by
The Babcock and Wilcox Company of zone all 2T bend tests fail, confirming
the presence of as-deposited Figure 3 shows the results of these
an electrode depositing weld metal
martensite. Within the zone, bend test tests in terms of magnetic response
with about
[2] failures may occur because of FN (by Magne-Gage) and
0.07C-15.6Cr-8.2Ni-1.5Mo. On the
excessive strain-induced martensite. compositions are given in Table 2,
Schaeffler diagram this composition
It is clear that a deliberate level of items A, B and C. As expected
was shown to be centred around the
C+N is important for controlling the because of its high Cr and Mo
austenite 'nose' at the confluence of
WRC Nieq and the position of the content, ferrite in ER316H declined
the Austenite + Martensite (A+M) and
leanest corner of the 16.8.2 significantly and quite rapidly,
Austenite + Ferrite (A+F) boundaries.
composition box. followed by the leaner E17.8.2 with a
This area is shown on the Espy
smaller shift. In contrast, the apparent
modified diagram, Figure 1,
Very few weld metals of 16.8.2 type FN for ER16.8.2 progressively
assuming 0.04-0.1 %C and constant
were included in the original WRC increased with exposure time at
values of 0.5 %Si-1.5 %Mn-0.05 %N.
ferrite database and consequently the 750 C, reaching a plateau of around
In addition to austenite, with perhaps
current WRC-1992 diagram cuts off at 17FN after 5h at temperature.
up to 10 % ferrite, a significant region

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The explanation for this unexpected that conventional optical austenitics would be fruitful. However,
behaviour is that carbide precipitation metallography will not reveal its the robust character of 16.8.2 weld
during PWHT has destabilised a presence. Either special etching metal is now accepted by the ASME
[3] [12]
proportion of the prior austenite, techniques or comparative Code Section III (nuclear Class 1
raising its Ms temperature and magnetic response studies are components). Ferrite determination is
leading to some martensite required. not required for type 16-8-2 welding
transformation on cool-out to ambient. materials, whereas >5FN is required
This is illustrated schematically on 2.2 Ferrite and hot cracking for all 308/316 types used up to
Figure 2 where the area marked 2 is 427 C design temperature and 3-
"carbon-free" 16.8.2, shifted down 10FN above 427 C.
towards the martensitic zone and to The presence of ferrite, determined at
the left as a result of M23C6 removing room temperature, is conventionally
considered to be desirable or
3. Other Useful Properties
Cr from the austenitic matrix.
necessary for satisfactory resistance
A few subsequent experiments have to hot cracking in nominally austenitic
shown that this behaviour is quite weld metals. Type 16.8.2 is unusual 3.1 Cryogenic temperatures
sensitive to relatively small in that hot cracking is not reported in
differences in composition, and that typical commercial compositions,
further transformation could be even though these contain little or no The cryogenic properties of austenitic
obtained by additional cooling in a measured or calculated ferrite. SMAW weld metals in relation to
domestic refrigerator. For example, ferrite content were reported in detail
composition D in Table 2 gave 0.6FN Using the fissure bend test, Lundin et by Szumachowski and Reid over 20
[8,9] [13]
(by Feritscope) in the as-welded al found trivial microfissuring (4 years ago. These tests were
condition, 0.3FN after PWHT microfissures in total) in two of twelve interesting in that E16-8-2 types were
750 C/1h and 0.6FN after tests on two commercial batches of included, and the performance of
refrigeration, whereas a repeat test E16-8-2-16 with 0.7 and 1.2FN, and these leaner weld metals appeared
on composition C gave 4.0FN, 4.8FN unlike the other standard austenitic superior to many others, especially
and 14.9FN respectively. Comparison types investigated the onset and when considering the requirement to
of these two compositions shows that extent of hot cracking could not be meet a minimum charpy lateral
the less stable alloy C has lower plotted against FN, see Figure 4. The expansion of 0.38mm (15mils in
WRC Nieq and a particularly low level accepted explanation for this is customary US units) at 196 C. In
of nitrogen. In this respect, alloy C is evident with reference to the WRC particular, 16.8.2 types were less
probably unusual. However, the SAW diagram which shows that the sensitive to the generally detrimental
composition E has intermediate Nieq desirable FA primary ferritic effect of ferrite on toughness and all
and this showed an increase from solidification mode boundary the E16-8-2-15 variants with up to
1FN to 3.7FN after 750 C/5h. intersects low FN levels in 10FN and no added nitrogen met
Others who have worked with 16.8.2 compositions with low Creq values. requirements. At the same time, all
may be familiar with this effect of (The fissure bend test also involves the 16.8.2 welds had 0.04-0.055 %C,
PWHT (or high temperature service), bending the test pieces to 120, and typical of commercial products
but no published reports have been noticeably more strain-induced designed for high temperature
found. The high alloy martensite will martensite was found by magnetic applications, while none of the other
have a low Ac1 and reversion to response in the E16-8-2 welds than weld metals with ferrite and above
austenite is likely at high service the others.) 0.04 %C met the lateral expansion
temperatures, which are typically criterion. It is also known, but not
above 540 C. The extent to which The hot cracking resistance of 16.8.2 reported by these authors, that 16.8.2
this austenite might be strengthened may be even more robust than is charpy specimens when fractured at
by a higher dislocation density apparent from the WRC diagram. The 196 C become noticeably ferro-
inherited from the prior martensite is Suutala diagram , Figure 5, is magnetic as a consequence of strain-
not known. In a detailed structural based on coefficients for the influence induced (or low temperature
study of a GTAW ER16-8-2 of alloying on solidification mode, transformed) martensite being
[6] [11]
weldment which had been solution derived by Hammer and Svensson . present. Evidently some martensite
annealed at 1060 C/30min then cold- It shows a dramatic improvement in formation is not detrimental to fracture
straightened, no martensite was resistance to hot cracking at the properties and possibly contributes
reported (nor was it sought). A higher transition to primary ferritic FA transformation-induced plasticity to
than expected dislocation density was solidification at a Creq:Nieq ratio these welds.
ascribed to the effect of cold work, but above about 1.5. The 16.8.2
this substructural feature largely compositions evaluated by Lundin et The distinctive impact properties at
persisted after re-annealing. Ferrite al have Creq:Nieq ratios of 1.73 and 196 C of SAW ER16.8.2 (Table 2,
level was also remarkably stable, 1.67 (assuming 0.06 %N), which composition E) are shown compared
since WRC 2FN can be calculated places them well into the 'safe' region, with various batches of SAW ER308L
from the given analysis and 2 % whereas the WRC diagram places and ER316L in Figure 6. The WRC-
ferrite (by QTM) survived two them close to the austenite boundary predicted ferrite based on analysis
annealing cycles at 1060 C. Another and correctly predicts <1FN at room was 1FN and measured ferrite was
study examined the effect of temperature. If these compositions 1.1FN (mid-section of weld) and
PWHT, including 800 C/10h, on the were pushed to the Suutala 1.6FN (final bead). After PWHT
elastic, tensile and creep anisotropy Creq:Nieq=1.5 limit (eg by raising Ni), at 750 C/5h, the same weld still gave
of 17.8.2 weld metal equivalent to the equivalent WRC Nieq values 26J and 0.52 mm lateral expansion
composition B in Table 2. As in other would be about 0.5Nieq above the at 101 C, which confirms a
studies of this alloy, no martensite austenite boundary. remarkably high resistance to thermal
was reported. However, with respect embrittlement, despite some
to all cases where some martensite Clearly, further work to explore the martensite formation coupled with
might be anticipated, it must be noted hot cracking behaviour of these lean

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carbide precipitation as described requirements were exceeded from performance is superior to other 300
earlier. 650 C up to 816 C. This gives series austenitic stainless steel weld
confidence in extending useful metals. This robust behaviour is now
The gas-shielded FCAW process properties well beyond 650 C which recognised by the ASME Code
provides another example. There is is important for welds in 304H used in Section III which requires no
currently no national standard the petrochemical processing minimum ferrite level for 16-8-2
specification for FCAW consumables industry. weldments.
of 16.8.2 type, although they are
available and also recognised by the Strictly, these are dissimilar metal The cryogenic properties of the weld
ASME Code Section III as welds (equivalent base material, metal are better than most standard
"EXXXT-G (16-8-2 chemistry)". The ASTM 16-8-2, exists but does not 316L and 308L types of weld metal,
data shown in Figure 7 are for normal seem to be encountered). However a particularly so when lateral expansion
batches not optimised for cryogenic more radical use of 16.8.2 for welding rather than impact energy is used as
applications, but the intrinsically dissimilar materials has been the assessment criterion. Cryogenic
superior toughness of 16.8.2 presented. Type 16.8.2 was toughness is retained after PWHT.
(composition F, Table 2) is obvious. chosen and successfully evaluated
Comparable FCAW properties are for welding 304 to an alloy 800 The expansion coefficient of 16-8-2
obtained in 316L only in fully transition piece between stainless weld metal lies midway between that
austenitic compositions specially type 304 and P22 (2Cr-1Mo), see of alloy 800 and type 304 stainless,
modified to suppress hot cracking Figure 8. This was chosen on the which offers the possibility of use as a
(E316LMnT in Fig 7). basis of its intermediate coefficient of transition joint between these two
thermal expansion, although the alloys. This is in addition to the more
In view of the useful cryogenic presumed value is a little difficult to common application for the welding of
properties of 16.8.2, which arise from reconcile with the data presented by thick section 347H, where the use of
its relative safety at intrinsically low Elmer et al. In Y-groove tests, and matching weld metal can lead to hot
FN levels coupled with low in spite of dilution effects from alloy cracking, low stress-rupture ductility
microsegregation and embrittlement 800 with over 30 %Ni, the and in-service HAZ relaxation
tendency, it is surprising that no microfissuring resistance of 16.8.2 cracking. The use of 16-8-2 for
reference to its use in cryogenic was found to be slightly superior to welding 304 and 316 materials is now
applications is given in a recent type 182 nickel base weld metal recognised by the ASME Code
review or in the appendices to traditionally used, although both were Section III, which allows higher
AWS A5.4 and A5.9. Some general satisfactory. stress-rupture factors for weldments
guidance is given in the appendix to than "matching" weld metals.
AWS A5.4, clauses A9.8 to A9.12. 4. Summary
5. Acknowledgement
3.2 Elevated temperature and The 'lean 316' or 16-8-2 family of
dissimilar welds weld metals have an unusual Thanks are due to Mitsui Babcock
combination of properties which Energy Services for providing data for
The customary applications of 16.8.2 warrant further investigation and the effect of PWHT on austenitic weld
are for elevated temperature service, wider exploitation by industry. metals shown in Figure 3.
originally for thick section 347H Corrosion performance has not been
where the low stress-rupture ductility, considered in this review, but References:
hot cracking and in-service HAZ structural applications range from
relaxation cracking susceptibility are -196 C up to around 800 C.
[1] Folkard, E: "Welding Metallurgy
aggravated by the use of matching
The microstructure of the weld metals of Stainless Steels", Springer-
weld metal. Today it is also
consists of austenite with a small Verlag, Wein New York, 1988.
sometimes specified for welding
proportion of ferrite. There is no [2] Carpenter, O R and Wylie, R D:
304H, in preference to 308H weld
evidence of martensite in as- "16-8-2 Cr-Ni-Mo for welding
metal , the presence of Mo being
deposited weld metals but many electrode", Met. Prog. 1956,
beneficial to creep rupture ductility
compositions lie close to the 70 (5), 65-73.
and the low Cr+Mo restricting
martensite boundary with the [3] Kotecki, D J: "A martensite
formation of intermetallic phases.
resultant possibility of strain-induced boundary on the WRC-1992
The ASME Code Section III gives
martensite being formed under diagram", Weld J, May 1999,
stress-rupture factors up to 650 C for
certain conditions. 180s-192s.
welds in 304 and 316 using 16-8-2,
[4] Smith, J J and Farrar, R A:
including the FCAW process as noted
The combination of lean composition "Influence of microstructure and
above. Under most conditions and
and low ferrite lead to excellent composition on mechanical
especially at higher temperature and
microstructural stability and ductility properties of some AISI 300
longer duration, type 16-8-2 has been
retention after prolonged PWHT or series weld metals", Int. Met.
allocated higher stress-rupture factors
elevated temperature service. There Rev 1993, 38, 1, 25-51.
than 308/316 weld metals.
is evidence that in the leanest [5] Plastow, B et al: "Service
compositions carbide precipitation experience with AISI type 316
A thorough assessment of SMAW
during PWHT raises the Ms steel components in CEGB
E16-8-2-15 welds compared with
temperature and leads to some Midlands Region power plant",
E316H for welding 316H steels has
martensite transformation on cooling. Welding and Fabrication in the
recently been presented and this
Nuclear Industry, pp 239-246,
supports the ASME tables. All-weld
The resistance to hot cracking is ENES, London, 1979.
metal stress-rupture data for FCAW
excellent and, even at very low ferrite [6] Foulds, J R and Moteff, J:
16-8-2 (as composition F, Table 2)
levels (<2FN), virtually no fissuring is "Substructure characterisation
have also been presented recently
found in fissure bend tests and of a 16-8-2 GTA weld through
showing that minimum base material

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transmission election metal joint for steam generator
microscopy", Weld J, 1982, circuit of prototype fast breeder
June, 189-s196-s. reactor", Materials Science and
[7] Kimmins, S T and Horton, C A Technology, 1988, 4 (11), 1020-
P, "Anisotropy of elastic and 1029.
tensile properties in 17Cr-8Ni- [20] Elmer, J W et al: "The thermal
2Mo weld metal", Welding in expansion characteristics of
Nuclear Engineering, DVS stainless steel weld metal",
Berichte 75, 1982. Weld J, 1982, Sept, 293s-301s.
[8] Lundin, C D et al: "The fissure
bend test", Weld J 1976, June,
[9] Lundin, C D et al: "Ferrite
fissuring relationship in
austenitic stainless steel weld
metals", Weld J, 1975, Aug,
[10] Kujanp, V P et al:
"Solidification cracking
estimation of the susceptibility
of austenitic and austenitic-
ferritic stainless steel welds",
Met. Constr, 1980, June, 282-
[11] Hammer, and Svensson, U:
"Influence of steel composition
on segregation and
microstructure during
solidification of austenitic
stainless steels", Solidification
of Castings, 401-410, ISI, 1967.
[12] ASME Code Case N-47-33,
June 9, 1995 (now incorporated
in ASME Sec III Div 1, Class 1
[13] Szumachowski, E R and Reid, H
F: "Cryogenic toughness of
SMA austenitic stainless steel
weld metals: Part I Role of
ferrite", Weld J 1978, 57 (11),
325s-333s, "Part II Role of
nitrogen", Weld J 1979, 58 (2),
[14] "Welding of stainless steels for
cryogenic applications",
Welding in the World, 1992, 30
(5/6), 100-107.
[15] Boniszewski, T: "The correct
choice of stainless electrode for
high temperature (creep)
applications", Trends in Steels
and Consumables for Welding,
pp461-472, conference
proceedings TWI, 1978.
[16] Thomas, R D: "HAZ cracking in
thick sections of austenitic
steels", Weld J, 1984, 63 (12),
Pt 1, 24-32, Pt 2, 355s-368s.
[17] Farrar, J C M and Marshall, A
W: "Type '300H' austenitic
stainless steel weld metals for
high temperature service", pp
147-162, Stainless Steel World
99 conference.
[18] Sobotka, J: "On selection of a
suitable filler metal for welding
austenitic creep resistant AISI
316H steel", Zvaranie, 1996, 45,
9, 1-6 [English], 197-202
[19] Bhaduri, A K et al:
"Development of transition

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Figure 1: Espy diagram showing location of 16.8.2 with partially constrained composition limits (see text) and similarly
constrained E308H and E316H

Figure 2: WRC diagram showing location of 16.8.2 weld metal (area 1) and the same with carbon and chromium
removed from the matrix as M23C6 (area 2)

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6 E17.8.2
4 ER316H

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350

PWHT time at 750C, mins

Figure 3: Effect of PWHT at 750 C on weld metal ferrite (magnetic response) in GTAW ER16-8-2 compared with
ER316H and SMAW 17.8.2

Figure 4: Comparison of the fissuring relationship for eight different austenitic stainless steel weld metals
Note: E16-8-2-16 showed trivial fissuring and is therefore not plotted

Figure 5: Suutala diagram [10] showing crack / no crack boundary at Creq:Nieq ratio of about 1.5
Creq = Cr + 1.5Si + 1.37Mo, Nieq = Ni + 0.31Mn + 22C + 14.2N

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Lateral expansion at -196C, mm





0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70

Im pact energy at -196C, J (individual values)

Figure 6: Relationship between Charpy impact energy and lateral expansion of ER16.8.2, ER308L and ER316L SAW
weld metals at 196 C


Lateral expansion at -196C, mm





E16.8.2T (SC16.8.2)
0.2 E308LT (SC308L/ P)
E316LT (SC316L/ P)
0.1 E316LM nT (SC316NF)

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70

Im pact energy at -196, J (individual values)

Figure 7: Relationship between Charpy impact energy and lateral expansion of E16-8-2T, E308LT, E316LT and
E316LMnT FCAW weld metals at 196 C

Figure 8: Use of 16.8.2 weld metal for transition joint in protoype fast breeder reactor.
Thermal expansion coefficients are shown in brackets [19]

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MMA E16.8.2 Wire 16.8.2 MMA E16-8-2 Wire E16-8-2 MMA 17.8.2
EN 1600 EN12072 AWS A5.4 AWS A5.9 BS 2926
C < 0.08 < 0.10 < 0.10 < 0.10 0.06 0.10
Mn < 2.5 1.0 2.5 0.5 2.5 1.0 2.0 0.5 2.5
Si < 1.0 < 1.0 < 0.60 0.30 0.65 < 0.8
S < 0.025 < 0.02 < 0.03 < 0.03 < 0.030
P < 0.030 < 0.03 < 0.03 < 0.03 < 0.040
Cr 14.5 16.5 14.5 16.5 14.5 16.5 14.5 16.5 16.5 18.5
Ni 7.5 9.5 7.5 9.5 7.5 9.5 7.5 9.5 8.0 9.5
Mo 1.5 2.5 1.0 2.5 1.0 2.0 1.0 2.0 1.5 2.5
Cu < 0.75 < 0.75

Table 1: Welding consumable specifications for 16.8.2 and related type 17.8.2

Batch Type Process C Mn Si Cr Ni Mo N

A* ER316H GTAW 0.041 1.64 0.43 19.1 12.7 2.30 0.042
B* E17.8.2 SMAW 0.071 1.79 0.22 17.4 8.6 2.13 0.072
C ER16-8-2 GTAW 0.040 1.42 0.35 15.6 8.4 1.33 0.023
D ER16-8-2 GTAW 0.050 1.43 0.44 15.6 8.8 1.21 0.048
E ER16-8-2 SAW 0.050 0.89 0.77 15.4 8.4 1.16 0.047
F* SC16-8-2 FCAW 0.045 1.17 0.53 16.1 8.9 1.13 0.050

* These are representative compositions, others are specific compositions studied.

Table 2: Weld deposit compositions for ER316H and 16-8-2 consumables referred to

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