Sulphur in Steels

Sulphur in Steels  Sulphur (S) (atomic number 16 and atomic weight 32.066) has density of 2.05 gm/cc. Monoclinic S melts at 119.25 deg C and boils at 444.6 deg C. However, S and iron (Fe) are miscible, and Fe-S binary system at one atmosphere of pressure forms a liquid at temperatures as high as 1800 deg C, far above the boiling point of S alone. Fig 1 is the phase diagram of the Fe-S binary system at 1 atmosphere of pressure.  Fig 1 Fe-S phase diagram S is an element which is always present in steel in small quantities. S in steel is introduced through iron ore and fuel (coal and coke). The removal of S during steel making is a tedious and difficult process. S is normally regarded as an impurity in steel and is required to be reduced to the limits of practicality. However steels which are to be machined need a certain minimum S content for proper chip formation. Where machining constitutes a major fraction of the end products cost, many types of steel (carbon, alloy, and less often stainless) are intentionally resulphurized just for this reason. (refer http://ispatguru.com/free-cutting-steels/) Except in those cases where it is added for machinability, or where residual S content of around 0.040 % maximum is tolerable, the usual aim during iron and steel making is to reduce S to low levels, consistent with mechanical property requirements. For high strength (HS) steel plates and for some special bar quality (SBQ) steel products, this may mean removing the S to a level of 0.005 % maximum. There are several methods which are widely used for achieving this level of S. Further, efficient removal of S from liquid steel or iron depends on specific metallurgical and thermodynamic conditions. Though...