Iron Carbide

Iron Carbide Iron carbide is a high melting point, non-pyrophoric, strongly magnetic synthetic compound obtained in granular or powder form. It is composed of three atoms of Fe and one atom C and its chemical formula is Fe3C. The commercial iron carbide consists of around 90 % total iron and around 6 % to 6.5 % of total carbon. The primary use of the product is as a metallic charge during steelmaking for substitution of hot metal, direct reduced iron, or steel scrap. Iron carbide is an intermetallic compound of iron and carbon. It is, more precisely, intermediate transition metal carbide. Its stoichiometric composition consists of 6.67 % carbon and 93.3 % iron (Fe) by weight. It has an orthorhombic crystal structure (Fig 1). It is a hard, brittle material and normally classified as a ceramic in its pure form. It is a frequently found and important constituent in ferrous metallurgy. While iron carbide is present in most steels and cast irons, it is produced as a raw material by the iron carbide process, which belongs to the family of alternative ironmaking technologies. Fig 1 Crystal of iron carbide Iron carbide is a premium quality feed for steelmaking in electric arc furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces. It is available as dark gray granules or powder. It offers matchless metallurgical advantages and outstanding cost savings. It has a density of 7.64 kg/cu m and is thus slightly denser than the liquid iron, which has a density of 6.98 kg/cu m. The iron carbide is composed of three atoms of Fe and one atom C and is also known as cementite. Cementite is an intermetallic compound which is hard, brittle, and metastable because it tends to decompose in ferrite (or austenite) and graphite according to the reaction Fe3C = 3 Fe + C. In fact, this transformation is not...