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Melting practices for ferrous alloys

Ferrous alloys
- Process of refining by oxidation & reduction
- melting of scrap/ pig iron and alloying through addition of ferro-alloys
- removal of oxides by slag-metal reactions
Furnaces for Ferrous alloys
- Cupola for cast iron
Advantage: Simple design, low maintenance, low fuel rate, high output
Objective: melt metal at high tapping temperature
Types: Cold blast/ hot blast acid cupola,
Coke-less cupola, Water cooled cupola, oxygen cupola
- Arc furnace
Operations: charging, melting, oxidation, deoxidation
- Induction furnace
Types: Coreless
(Mains frequency, Medium Frequency 50-1000 Hz, High Frequency)
Cored: 60Hz electromagnetic induction pumps liquid through channel around core
- Vacuum metallurgy (arc f/c, induction f/c, degassing)
Sieverts Law: dissolved gas (H2, N2) in liquid metal depends on pressure
Solubility = k

P
g
Cupola
basic design
- shaft support
- chimney with spark arrester
- wind belt with tuyere
- fore-hearth/receiver
metallurgical reactions
- CaCO3->Cao+(CO2)
- 2Fe+SO2= FeS+2(FeO)
- gas fuel CO2+C =2CO
- liq. SiO2 react with CaO to form slag
- Near tuyere 2Fe + O2 = 2FeO
factors
- blast rate/temperature
incomplete combustion
reduced thermal efficiency
insufficient heat transfer
- charge material (lump size, coke reactivity/quality)
- preparation of coke bed (height of the bed)
coke less cupola
(coke bed replaced by refractory balls)
- gas/oil burner (higher tapping/ladle temperature)
- advantage: low sulfur, clean, low dart
hot blast cupola
- advantage: energy efficient, low coke consumption,
thermal performance increases with increasing blast
temperature, reduced FeO content in slag

FeO +Si = SiO2 + Fe
FeO + Mn = MnO +Fe
FeO + C = CO + Fe
Charge material: pig iron, Cast iron scrap, steel, coke and flux
Non-Ferrous alloys
- No possibility of refining
(No removal of elements by oxidation/slag-metal reactions)
- melting practice is governed by some physical and physico-chemical reactions
Problems during melting
- wide variation in densities
- segregation (non uniform chemical
composition)
- wide variation in melting temperatures
- Loss by vaporization and oxidation (reactive
metals)
- Formation of non-metallic inclusions
- absorption of gas during melting
Melting practices for nonferrous alloys
Possible solutions
- Master alloys
- maintain proper atmosphere over the melt
- vacuum (titanium, alloy-steels)
- neutral Ar, N2,
- fluxes (chloride, fluoride, glass,
limestone) Ti, Al, Mg
- reducing CO/CO2 (charcoal, CaC2), H2
Zn, Brass, Bronze (S for Mg)
- oxidizing Cu, Ni
Degassing
- Al alloys - Ar, N2, Chlorine, C2Cl6
- Cu alloys - P, Cu-P, Ca
Foundry refractories
Refractories for ferrous alloys
Acid (to resist acid slag)
silica (quartz/cristobalite)
fireclay (cristobalite + mullite 3Al2O3.2SiO2)
high alumina fireclay (alumina+mullite)
Basic (to resist basic slag)
magnesia (MgO)-dolomite (CaMg(CO
3
)
2
)
magnesia (MgO)-chrome (Cr
2
O
3
)
Neutral (react very slowly with acid/ basic slag)
chrome
carbon
Refractories for non-ferrous alloys
- clay-graphite (Cu, Cu-alloys)
- SiC+coal tar+ resin ( Cu-Ni, Al-alloys)
- used for lining in melting and heat treatment furnaces
- should resist thermal stress, physical wear, impact, corrosion, erosion by molten slag,
high refractoriness under load.
- impurities can form low melting compounds that diminish refractoriness
extremely versatile, in that they may be tailored to have a wide range of mechani-
cal and physical properties. The principal disadvantage of many ferrous alloys is
their susceptibility to corrosion. This section discusses compositions, microstructures,
and properties of a number of different classes of steels and cast irons. A taxonomic
classification scheme for the various ferrous alloys is presented in Figure 11.1.
Steels
Steels are ironcarbon alloys that may contain appreciable concentrations of other
alloying elements; there are thousands of alloys that have different compositions
and/or heat treatments. The mechanical properties are sensitive to the content of
carbon, which is normally less than 1.0 wt%. Some of the more common steels are
classified according to carbon concentrationnamely, into low-, medium-, and high-
carbon types. Subclasses also exist within each group according to the concentration
of other alloying elements. Plain carbon steels contain only residual concentrations
of impurities other than carbon and a little manganese. For alloy steels, more alloying
elements are intentionally added in specific concentrations.
Low-Carbon Steels
Of all the different steels, those produced in the greatest quantities fall within the
low-carbon classification. These generally contain less than about 0.25 wt% C and
are unresponsive to heat treatments intended to form martensite; strengthening is ac-
complished by cold work. Microstructures consist of ferrite and pearlite constituents.
360 Chapter 11 / Applications and Processing of Metal Alloys
Figure 11.1 Classification scheme for the various ferrous alloys.
Metal alloys
Nonferrous Ferrous
Steels
Low alloy
Low-carbon
Plain High strength,
low alloy
Plain Heat
treatable
Plain Tool Stainless
Medium-carbon High-carbon
High alloy
Gray
iron
Ductile
(nodular) iron
White
iron
Malleable
iron
Compacted
graphite iron
Cast irons
plain carbon steel
alloy steel
1496T_c11_358-413 11/30/05 18:58 Page 360
REVISED PAGES
Classification of ferrous alloys
<0.25 0.25-0.6 >0.6
Microalloying (Nb, V = <0.2%)
Hadfield Mn-steel
6
Cast Iron
Fe-C alloys which undergo eutectic solidification
more commonly 3 - 4.5 wt%C
low melting (also brittle), low shrinkage, easier to cast,
Cementite decomposes to ferrite + graphite
Fe
3
C --> 3 Fe (!) + C (graphite, hexagonal)
generally a slow process
Advantages:
Good castability, good wear resistance, good dampening capacity
Typical Use:
Anti-friction: sleeve, bearing, bushing
Engine block
7
Fe-C Equilibrium Diagram
Graphite formation
promoted by
Si > 1 wt%
slow cooling
Wall thickness increases
with amount of (C+Si)
Modification on the
shape size and
morphology of Graphite
can be promoted by
ladle additives
1600
1400
1200
1000
800
600
400
0 1 2 3 4 90
L
!
+L
" + Graphite
Liquid +
Graphite
(Fe)
C
o

, wt% C
0
.
6
5
740C
T(C)
! + Graphite
100
1153C
!
Austenite 4.2 wt% C
" + !
inoculant: Ferrosilicon (FeSi)
8
Types of Cast Iron
White cast iron
Fracture surface appear as white
All the Carbon in form of cementite
<1wt% Si so harder but brittle
more cementite
Malleable cast iron
heat treat at 800-950C for 100 h
(tempering)
graphite in rosettes (temper carbon)
more ductile
Good dampening; used in static/dynamic
loads; gear housing, axle housing, heads,
yokes, nuts, flanges, roller of conveyer
chain
H
T
Heat treatments of synthesizing Malleable CI
Black tempering White tempering
Oxidizing atmosphere
CO2 + C = 2CO
Surface layer (4-8 mm) is fully ferritic
Fe3C --> 3Fe+C
Decomposition of Cementite in
Ledeburite (!+Fe3C): 950
o
C
Decomposition of Cementite in
Pearlite (Ferrite + Fe3C) : 800-600
o
C
10
Types of Cast Iron
Gray cast iron
graphite flakes (stress raiser)
weak & brittle under tension
stronger under compression
excellent vibrational dampening
wear resistant: piston rings
Nodular/ductile cast iron
form directly during solidification
add Mg (0.3-1.2%) or Ce
Insoluble MgSi intermetallics cause
crystallization of Graphite nodules
matrix often pearlite - better ductility/strength
good machinability
components for forging, hammer anvils, mill
rolls, pump housing, diesel engine block
ladle additives
Maurer diagram
(Transition from White-to-Gray Cast Iron)
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located vary with alloy composition but, nevertheless, must be relatively low because
carbon diffusion must be virtually nonexistent.
4
The horizontal and linear character
of these lines indicates that the martensitic transformation is independent of time;
it is a function only of the temperature to which the alloy is quenched or rapidly
cooled. A transformation of this type is termed an athermal transformation.
Consider an alloy of eutectoid composition that is very rapidly cooled from a
temperature above ( ) to, say, ( ). From the isothermal
transformation diagram (Figure 10.22) it may be noted that 50% of the austenite
will immediately transform to martensite; and as long as this temperature is main-
tained, there will be no further transformation.
The presence of alloying elements other than carbon (e.g., Cr, Ni, Mo, and W)
may cause significant changes in the positions and shapes of the curves in the isother-
mal transformation diagrams. These include (1) shifting to longer times the nose of
the austenite-to-pearlite transformation (and also a proeutectoid phase nose, if such
exists), and (2) the formation of a separate bainite nose. These alterations may be
observed by comparing Figures 10.22 and 10.23, which are isothermal transforma-
tion diagrams for carbon and alloy steels, respectively.
Steels in which carbon is the prime alloying element are termed plain carbon
steels, whereas alloy steels contain appreciable concentrations of other elements,
including those cited in the preceding paragraph. Section 11.2 tells more about the
classification and properties of ferrous alloys.
Concept Check 10.2
Cite two major differences between martensitic and pearlitic transformations.
[The answer may be found at www.wiley.com/college/callister (Student Companion Site).]
330F 165C 1341F 727C
332 Chapter 10 / Phase Transformations in Metals
4
The alloy that is the subject of Figure 10.21 is not an iron-carbon alloy of eutectoid com-
position; furthermore, its 100% martensite transformation temperature lies below the
ambient. Since the photomicrograph was taken at room temperature, some austenite
(i.e., the retained austenite) is present, having not transformed to martensite.
Figure 10.21 Photomicrograph showing the
martensitic microstructure. The needle-
shaped grains are the martensite phase, and
the white regions are austenite that failed to
transform during the rapid quench.
(Photomicrograph courtesy of United States
Steel Corporation.)
1220.
athermal
transformation
plain carbon steel
alloy steel
1496T_c10_311-357 11/30/05 7:37 Page 332
REVISED PAGES
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