The remarkably high work-hardening rate in high-nitrogen austenitic stainless steels is generally believed to be due to the promotion of dislocation accumulation by nitrogen addition. However, analysis of dislocation accumulation behavior by the modified Williamson-Hall/ Warren-Averbach method reveals that no difference to the increment of the dislocation density during deformation exists between austenitic steels with and without nitrogen. Since cross slipping is markedly suppressed in high-nitrogen steels, the moving dislocations are back-stressed by the planar dislocation arrays. This induces the deformation resistance and the high work-hardening rate.
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