On the Crystallization of Compacted and Chunky Graphite from Liquid Multicomponent Iron-Carbon-Silicon-Based Melts

Extensive SEM work was carried out on deep-etched specimens to reveal the evolution of compacted and chunky graphite in magnesium-modified multicomponent Fe-C-Si alloys during early solidification and at room temperature. The findings of this research were then integrated in the current body of knowledge to produce an understanding of the crystallization of compacted and chunky graphite. It was confirmed that growth from the liquid for both compacted and chunky graphite occurs radially from a nucleus, as foliated crystals and dendrites. The basic building blocks of the graphite aggregates are hexagonal faceted graphite platelets with nanometer height and micrometer width. Thickening of the platelets occurs through growth of additional graphene layers nucleated at the ledges of the graphite prism. Additional thickening resulting in complete joining of the platelets may occur from the recrystallization of the amorphous carbon that has diffused from the liquid through the austenite, once the graphite aggregate is enveloped in austenite. With increasing magnesium levels, the foliated graphite platelets progressively aggregate along the c-axis forming clusters. The clusters that have random orientation, eventually produce blocky graphite, as the spaces between the parallel platelets disappear. This is typical for compacted graphite irons and tadpole graphite. The chunky graphite aggregates investigated are conical sectors of graphite platelets stacked along the c-axis. The foliated dendrites that originally develop radially from a common nucleus may aggregate along the c-axis forming blocky graphite that sometimes exhibits helical growth. The large number of defects (cavities) observed in all graphite aggregates supports the mechanism of graphite growth as foliated crystals and dendrites.

Autores/as:

Doru M. Stefanescu (The Ohio State University and The University of Alabama), Rick Huff, Gorka Alonso, Pello Larrañaga, Esther De la Fuente, Ramón Suárez.

Keywords:

Grafito, cristal de grafito, grafito esferoidal, grafito compacto, subenfriamiento constitucional.

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