Corrosion of Cast Steels...

Corrosion of Cast Steels Cast steels are generally classified into the categories of (i) carbon (C) steels, (ii) low alloy steels, (iii) corrosion resistant steels, and (iv) heat resistant steels, depending on the alloy content and the planned usage. Steel castings are categorized as corrosion resistant if they are capable of sustained operation when exposed to attack by corrosive agents at operating temperatures which are generally below 300 deg C. The high alloy iron base compositions are generally given the name ‘stainless steels’, though this name is not recognized universally. Actually, these steels are widely referred to as cast stainless steels. Some of the high alloy steels (e.g. 12 % chromium steel) show many of the familiar physical characteristics of C steels and low alloy steels, and some of their mechanical properties, such as hardness and tensile strength (TS), can be altered by suitable heat treatment. The alloy steels of higher chromium (Cr) content (20 % to 30 % Cr), Cr-Ni (nickel)  steels and Ni-Cr steels do not show the changes in phase observed in ordinary C steel when heated or cooled in the range from room temperature to the melting point. Consequently, these steels are non hardenable, and their mechanical properties depend on the composition instead of heat treatment. The high alloy steels (stainless steels) differ from C steels and low alloy steels in other respects, such as their production and properties. Special attention is required to be given to each grade with regard to casting design and casting practice in the foundry. For example, such elements as Cr, Ni, C, N2 (nitrogen), Si (silicon), Mo (molybdenum), and Nb (niobium) can exert a deep impact on the ultimate structure of these complex steels. Hence, balancing of the alloy compositions is normally required to...

Alloy Cast Irons

Alloy Cast Irons Alloy cast irons are the casting alloys which are based on the iron (Fe) – carbon (C) – silicon (Si) system. They contain one or more alloying elements intentionally added to improve one or more properties. The addition to the ladle of small amounts of substances such as ferrosilicon (Fe-Si), cerium (Ce), or magnesium (Mg)) that are used to control the size, shape, and/or distribution of graphite particles is termed as inoculation. The quantities of material used for inoculation neither change the basic composition of the solidified cast iron nor alter the properties of individual constituents. Alloying elements, including Si when it exceeds about 3 %, are usually added to increase the strength, hardness, hardenability, or corrosion resistance of the basic iron and are often added in quantities sufficient to affect the occurrence, properties, or distribution of constituents in the microstructure. In gray and ductile cast irons, small amounts of alloying elements such as chromium (Cr), molybdenum (Mo), or nickel (Ni) are added primarily to achieve high strength or to ensure the attainment of a specified minimum strength in heavy sections. Otherwise, alloying elements are used almost exclusively to enhance resistance to abrasive wear or chemical corrosion or to extend service life at elevated temperatures. Classification of alloy cast irons Alloy cast irons can be classified as (i) white cast irons, (ii) corrosion resistant cast irons, and (iii) heat resistant cast irons (Fig 1). Fig 1 Classification of alloy cast irons White cast irons White cast irons are so named because of their characteristically white fracture surfaces. They do not have any graphite in their microstructures. Instead, the C is present in the form of carbides, mainly of the types Fe3C and Cr7C3. Frequently, complex carbides such as (Fe,Cr)3C and (Cr,Fe)7C3,...

Chromium in Steels

Chromium in Steels  Chromium (Cr) (atomic number 24 and atomic weight 52.01) has density of 7.1 gm/cc. Melting point of Cr is 1850 deg C and boiling point is 2680 deg C. The phase diagram of the Fe-Cr binary system is at Fig 1.  Cr has got a body centered cubic (bcc) crystal structure.   Fig 1 Fe-Cr phase diagram Around 85 % of the chromite (chrome ore) mined is used in metallurgical application, namely stainless steels, low alloy steels, high strength alloy steels, tool steels, some maraging steels (high strength alloy steels of the precipitation hardening type), and high performance alloys such as chromium-cobalt- tungsten (or molybdenum) alloys, nickel-chromium-manganese-niobium-tantalum (or titanium) alloys, nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloys, and cobalt-chromium alloys. Cr is the most versatile and widely used element in alloying of steel. It is a key component of stainless steels. Around 70 % of Cr used in steelmaking goes into the production of stainless steels. Consumption of Cr in the constructional alloy steels comes next. Most of the constructional alloy steels contain Cr less than 3 %. Tool steels, super alloys and other specialty steels, though have higher in Cr content account for lower consumption of Cr since these steels are produced in smaller quantities. Addition practice during steel making Cr in the steel comes either from Cr containing scrap or from ferrochrome (Fe- Cr) during the production of Cr alloyed steels. Fe-Cr used in steel making are commercially available in several grades . The main impurities in Fe-Cr are carbon (C) and silicon (Si). Low C grades are costlier than the high C grades. The widespread shift toward duplex refining practices such as the AOD, CLU, etc., for the production of stainless steels has resulted into the increased use of high carbon Fe-Cr. Low...

Complex Phase Steels

Complex Phase Steels  The complex phase (CP) steels belong to the group of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) grade, which gain their strength through extremely fine grain size and a micro structure containing martensite in small amounts, and pearlite embedded in the ferrite/bainite matrix. A very high grain refinement is achieved by precipitation of micro alloying elements such as niobium (Nb), or titanium (Ti), or retarded recrystallization. The advantage of the CP steels is that cold forming, without subsequent quenching and tempering, is possible, thus implying a considerable cost saving potential. CP steels are currently being produced as hot rolled steel strips as well as cold rolled advanced high strength steels, which are hot dip galvanized for corrosion protection. The chemical composition of CP steels, and also their microstructure, is very similar to that of TRIP steels, but, additionally it contains some quantities of Nb, Ti and or V (vanadium) to cause the precipitation strengthening effect. Typically, CP steels have no retained austenite in the microstructure, but contain more hard phases like martensite and bainite. The microstructure of CP steels is composed of a very fine ferrite with the high volume fraction of hard phase, For cold shaped products, a triple phase steel containing ferrite, bainite and martensite can be designed which are obviously more difficult to produce. The bainitic complex phase microstructure exhibits better strain hardening and strain capacity than that for fully bainitic micro structure. It involves a strength graded microstructure where the martensite and bainitic ferrite phases are separated by a third phase of intermediate strength. Fig 1 shows typical micro structure of CP steels. Fig 1 Typical micro structure of CP steels  Properties of CP steels The mechanical properties of CP steels are characterized by continuous yielding and high uniform...

TRIP Steels

TRIP Steels  TRIP steels are high strength steels. TRIP stands for ‘transformation induced plasticity’.  They are new generation of low alloy steels. These steels offer outstanding combination of strength and ductility as a result of their micro structure. TRIP steels rely on the transformation of austenite grains into the harder phase of martensite during deformation for achieving their mechanical properties. The locations of these grains in the microstructure are of major importance because they influence the impact of the TRIP effect, the microstructural localization and therefore the macroscopical deformability of the material. Microstructure and composition  The microstructure of these steels is composed of islands of hard residual austenite and carbide free bainite dispersed in a soft ferritic matrix.  The retained austenite is embedded in a primary matrix of ferrite. In addition to a minimum of 5 % to 15 % of retained austenite, hard phases such as martensite and bainite are present in varying amounts. Austenite is transformed into martensite during plastic deformation (TRIP effect), making it possible to achieve greater elongations and lending these steels their excellent combination of strength and ductility. Fig 1 shows the typical microstructure of TRIP steel. Fig 1 Typical micro structure of TRIP steel  TRIP steels typically require the use of an isothermal hold at an intermediate temperature, which produces some bainite. The higher silicon and carbon content of TRIP steels also result in significant volume fractions of retained austenite in the final microstructure. TRIP steels use higher quantities of carbon than dual phase steels to obtain sufficient carbon content for stabilizing the retained austenite phase to below ambient temperature. Higher contents of silicon and/or aluminum accelerate the ferrite/bainite formation. They are also added to avoid formation of carbide in the bainite region. Silicon though a key element for the formation of retained austenite, is undesirable...