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|Slat-band chains, currently manufactured from Type 430 ferritic stainless steel, are used as conveyors in various industries. A process to strengthen these chains?with the aim of prolonging the lifetime of the conveyors?was developed recently. The process entails heat treating the cold-worked chain at 475°C,strengthening the material by precipitation of the Cr-rich phase a? at relatively long periods of aging. In the present work, it was found that increasing the interstitial content by solution heat treatments (at 880°C or 930°C) prior to cold rolling and aging, causes an increase in strength at shorter aging times as a result of the precipitation of chromium-rich carbides and nitrides. The solution treatments can introduce martensite into the microstructure if carried out at a sufficiently high temperature. This, along with the deformation caused by cold work, also increases the strength. Corrosion resistance is not affected by the treatments, but ductility is lowered. However, calculated critical crack lengths indicate that solution treatment at a temperature below the Ac1allows for a larger critical flaw size, and that the lifetime of the chains will probably be determined by fatigue. Although the duration of the service of the chains are reportedly controlled by wear, with these treatments the tensile strength of the material is increased to within acceptable limits for conveyor chains. The tensile strength is an indication of the wear or abrasion resistance of a material. It is expected that after the treatments, the wear resistance will be improved, but since embrittlement occurs, the fatigue resistance is lowered. It is concluded that the preferred processing route for the chains would be solution treatment at 880°C, fast quenching to trap the interstitial atoms, cold rolling and then aging at 475°C for 8 minutes.|