Stainless Steels are required for many applications for ship building as well as for offshore structures such as oil exploration. AISI type 304 stainless steel is not very suitable for such applications as it has a strong tendency for pitting and crevice corrosion. Even type 316 and 317 stainless steels which have respectively 2.5 and 3.5% Mo are not very effective in these environments. Commercially available stainless steels, viz., Avesta 254 SMO is being employed for such applications because of its strong resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion. This is mainly because of high Mo concentration (6.5%). Such steels are not only costly but are prone to form deleterious phases such as delta ferrite and sigma during welding or other heat treatment operations. Hence, an alternative technique to restrict Mo at the surface is needed. In the present work, surface alloys consisting of an austenitic stainless steel with Mo content as high as 10-12% have been formed on stainless steel type 304 substrates. These steels show enhanced passivity and strong resistance to pitting corrosion.

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