Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 2235–2247 | Cite as

Effect of Solutes on Grain Refinement of As-Cast Fe-4Si Alloy

  • Ming Li
  • Jian-Min Li
  • Qing Zheng
  • Geoff Wang
  • Ming-Xing ZhangEmail author


Grain size is one of the key microstructural factors that control the mechanical properties of steels. The present work aims to extend the theories of grain refinement which were established for cast light alloys to steel systems. Using a designed Fe-4 wt pct Si alloy (all-ferrite structure during whole solidification process), the solute effect on grain refinement/grain coarsening in ferritic systems was comprehensively investigated. Experimental results showed that boron (B), which is associated with the highest Q value (growth restriction factor) in ferrite, significantly refined the as-cast structure of the Fe-4 wt pct Si alloy. Cu and Mo with low Q values had no effect on grain refinement. However, although Y and Zr have relatively high Q values, addition of these two solutes led to grain coarsening in the Fe-4Si alloy. Understanding the results in regards to the growth restriction factor and the driving force for the solidification led to the conclusion that in addition to the grain growth restriction effect, the changes of thermodynamic driving force for solidification due to the solute addition also played a key role in grain refinement in ferritic alloys.



The authors are very grateful to the Baoshan Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. (Baosteel), for funding support. The authors acknowledge the facilities, and the scientific and technical assistance, of the Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility at the Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, The University of Queensland. The author Dr Ming Li also thanks to the University of Queensland International (UQI) Scholarship.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jian-Min Li
    • 2
  • Qing Zheng
    • 3
  • Geoff Wang
    • 1
  • Ming-Xing Zhang
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Chemical EngineeringThe University of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.School of Mechanical and Mining EngineeringThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  3. 3.Baosteel Research Institute, Baoshan Iron and Steel Co. Ltd.ShanghaiChina

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