Austenitic stainless steels and nickel-base alloys containing, by wt. %, 0.1 to 3.0% V, 0.01 to 0.08% C, 0.01 to 0.5% N, 0.05% max. each of Al and Ti, and 0.005 to 0.10% O, are strengthened and ductility retained by atomization of a metal melt under cover of an inert gas with added oxygen to form approximately 8 nanometer-size hollow oxides within the alloy grains and, when the alloy is aged, strengthened by precipitation of carbides and nitrides nucleated by the hollow oxides. Added strengthening is achieved by nitrogen solid solution strengthening and by the effect of solid oxides precipitated along and pinning grain boundaries to provide temperature-stabilization and refinement of the alloy grains.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223 between Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company and The United States Department of Energy.