The formation of strain-induced martensite (SIM) is found in metastable austenitic stainless steel (m-ASS) during cold forming, and the presence of SIM may cause reductions in toughness, ductility, and corrosion resistance of m-ASS. These mechanical properties can be restored and improved by proper heat treatment after forming, however, which obviously raises the manufacturing costs. One low-cost way to reduce the SIM amount during m-ASS forming is to maintain the forming temperature at an appropriate level. This paper intends to investigate an approach to determine the optimum forming temperature at which the strain-induced martensitic transformation (SIM-Tr) of m-ASS head during forming can be restrained within a limited intensity. First, static tensile tests were conducted on S30408 conventional cylindrical tensile specimens under different temperatures varying from 20 °C to 180 °C, and then the effect of deformation temperature on SIM was evaluated. Second, according to the stacking fault energy (SFE) calculation method, m-ASS's chemical composition was taken into further consideration to investigate its effect on SIM. Finally, a formula was established based on SIM and chemical composition for optimization of forming temperature. In addition, the results obtained by this formula were compared with those of the experiment by S30408 ASS head stamping tests, and the satisfactory matching is found for the proposed forming temperatures and predicted ferrite number (FN) values (readings of the Ferritescope measurement, as a representation of the amount of martensite in this study). Furthermore, an enhancement in the cryogenic impact properties and a fewer quantity of delta-ferrite in the microstructure of m-ASS heads are observed when warm stamping is performed as compared with the cold stamped head.

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