This paper describes comparative creep tests made on an austemtic stainless steel in atmospheres of air, nitrogen, argon, and vacuum. The results indicate that the steel was weakened under the oxidizing conditions occurring in air as compared with its behavior in argon and vacuum, the results for nitrogen being inconclusive. Significant differences in ductility and creep rate characteristics in the different environments were noted, and much greater surface cracking was observed in the tests in nonoxidizing atmospheres. It is suggested that the air-weakening observed can be explained in terms of an interaction between the oxidation and deformation mechanisms involved.

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