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A heavily worked 304 stainless steel wire basket recrystallized and distorted while in service at 650 deg C (1200 deg F). This case study demonstrates that heavily cold worked austenitic stainless steel components can experience large losses in creep strength, and potentially structural collapse, under elevated temperature service, even at temperatures more than 300 deg C (540 deg F) below the normal solution annealing temperature. The creep strength of the recrystallized 304/304L steel was more than 1000 times less than that achievable with solution annealed 304H. These observations are consistent with limitations (2000 Addendum to ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code) on the use of cold worked austenitic stainless steels for elevated temperature service.

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