UBC Theses and Dissertations
The solidification of ductile cast iron Boeri, Roberto Enrique
The microsegregation of Mn, Cu, Cr, Mo, Ni and Si has been measured in cast ductile iron and in ductile iron which has been quenched when partially solidified. Effective segregation coefficients have been determined for each of the elements, and used to calculate the segregation on the basis of the Scheil equation. The calculated values agree reasonably well with the values of the solute concentration as a function of the solid fraction measured in quenched samples. The microstructure of the solid phases during the solidification of ductile iron has been observed. Solidification of eutectic ductile iron begins with the independent nucleation of austenite and graphite in the melt. Later the graphite nodules are enveloped by austenite, and further solidification takes place by the thickening of the austenite layers enveloping the graphite. Isolated pockets of interdendritic melt are the last material to solidify. On the basis of the measured segregation of the different alloying elements, the mechanisms by which the segregation affects the microstructure are considered, and an explanation for the effect of segregation on the hardenability of ductile iron is proposed. A mathematical model of the solidification of eutectic ductile iron is formulated which includes heat flow, nucleation and growth of graphite nodules, and the segregation of Si. The model uses equilibrium temperatures given by the ternary Fe-C-Si equilibrium diagram. Using the mathematical model, cooling curves, nodule count and nodular size distribution are determined as a function of position in the casting sample. The results are compared to measured temperatures, nodule count and nodule size in rod castings of 12.5, 20 and 43mm radius. There is good agreement between the calculated and measured values for the 43mm radius rod, and not quite good agreement for the rods of smaller radii. The changes in solidification predicted by the model when some solidification parameters are varied are consistent with experimental observations with the same variation in the parameters.
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