On the stable eutectic solidification of iron-carbon-silicon alloys

Extensive effort was expanded to elucidate the growth and morphology of the stable eutectic grains during early solidification of continuous cooled Fe–C–Si alloys. To this purpose, quenching experiments at successive stages during solidification have been carried out on five cast irons with various magnesium and titanium levels designed to produce graphite morphologies ranging from lamellar to mixed compacted–spheroidal.
The graphite shape factors were measured on the metallographic samples, and their evolution as a function of the chemical composition and the solid fraction was analyzed. Extensive scanning electron microscopy was carried on to evaluate the change in graphite shape during early solidification, to establish the fraction of solid at which the transition from spheroidal-to-compacted-to-lamellar graphite occurs, and to outline the early morphology of the eutectic grains. It was confirmed that solidification of Mg containing irons started with the development of spheroidal graphite even at Mg levels as low as 0.013 mass%. Then, as solidification proceeds, when some spheroids developed one or more tails (tadpole graphite), the spheroidal-to-compacted graphite transition occurs.
The new findings were then integrated in previous knowledge to produce an understanding of the eutectic solidification of these materials. It was concluded that in hypoeutectic lamellar graphite iron austenite/graphite eutectic grains can nucleate at the austenite/liquid interface or in the bulk of the liquid, depending on the sulfur content and on the cooling rate. When graphite nucleation occurs on the primary austenite, several eutectic grains can nucleate and grow on the same dendrite. The primary austenite continues growing as eutectic austenite and therefore the two have the same crystallographic orientation. Thus, a final austenite grain may include several eutectic grains. In eutectic irons the eutectic grains nucleate and grow mostly in the liquid. The eutectic austenite has different crystallographic orientation than the primary one.
The solidification of the austenite/spheroidal graphite eutectic is divorced, with graphite spheroids growing on primary austenite dendrites. The eutectic austenite grows on the primary austenite and has the same crystallographic orientation. The result is large austenite (primary and eutectic) dendrites that incorporate numerous graphite spheroids. A eutectic grain cannot be defined..

Autores/as:

Doru M. Stefanescu (The Ohio State University and The University of Alabama), Gorka Alonso, Pello Larranaga, Ramón Suárez.

Keywords:

Hierro fundido, Solidificación eutéctica, Granos eutécticos, Granos de austenita.

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