Desulphurization of Liquid Steel Jul30

Desulphurization of Liquid Steel...

Desulphurization of Liquid Steel Solubility of sulphur (S) in liquid iron (Fe) is quite high. But the solubility of S in solid iron is limited. It is 0.002 % in ferrite at room temperature and 0.013 % in austenite at around 1000 deg C. Hence, when liquid steel cools down, sulphur is liberated from the solution in the form of iron sulphide (FeS) which forms a eutectic with the surrounding iron. The eutectic is segregated at the iron grain boundaries. The eutectic temperature is comparatively low at around 988 deg C. Fe-FeS eutectic weakens the bonding between the grains and causes sharp drop in the properties of steel at the temperatures of hot deformation. During the continuous casting of liquid steel, sulphur present in liquid steel (i) causes the formation of undesirable sulphides which promotes granular weaknesses and cracks in steel during solidification, (ii) lowers the melting point and inter-granular strength, (iii) contributes to the brittleness of steel and thus acts as stress raiser in steel, and (iv) results in the hot shortness. Sulphur, present in solid steel as FeS inclusions, has several detrimental effects on steel processing. During deformation, FeS inclusions act as crack initiation sites and zones of weakness. Such inclusions from sulphur adversely affect the toughness, ductility, formability, weldability, and corrosion resistance of steel. An increase in manganese (Mn) content (not less than 0.2 %) however, helps prevent formation of FeS. Sulphur is thus an undesirable element in steel. Manganese actively reacts with iron sulphides during solidification of steel transforming FeS to MnS according to the following reaction. FeS (slag) + Mn (steel) = MnS (slag) + Fe The melting temperature of manganese sulphide (MnS) is comparatively high (around 1610 deg C). Hence steel containing manganese can be deformed in hot state. However...