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This article provides information on the metallurgy of austenitic stainless steels, and the formation of their intermediate phases (Sigma, Chi, and Laves). It discusses sensitization, a major problem associated with the austenitics, and solutions to avoid the problem. The article describes heat treatments applied to austenitic stainless steels, namely, soaking for homogenization and preparation for hot working; annealing to remove the effects of cold work and to put alloying elements into solid solution; and stress relieving. It provides information on the stabilizing anneal process, which is conducted on stabilized alloys, and discusses the metallurgical characteristics of austenitic stainless steels...

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