Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 2371–2379 | Cite as

55Fe diffusion in magnetite crystals at 500° C and its relevance to oxidation of iron

  • A. Atkinson
  • M. L. O'Dwyer
  • R. I. Taylor


A computer controlled sputter-sectioning apparatus is described which is particularly useful for self diffusion studies at “low” temperatures (D in the range 10−12 to 10−19cm2 sec−1). The technique has been applied to measure the diffusion coefficient of 55Fe in the magnetite lattice as a function of oxygen activity at 500° C. The results are in broad agreement with an extrapolation of pre-existing high temperature diffusion data (T>900°C). The low temperature data have been used to estimate the rate constant for magnetite formation on iron in CO2 + 1 vol% CO at 500° C and this is found to be 250 times smaller than the experimentally measured value. This disagreement is probably attributable to diffusion along oxide grain boundaries during oxidation. The rate constant for the formation of magnetite during the oxidation of iron in oxygen has also been calculated from the diffusion data and is compared with the measured rate constant for temperatures between 325 and 1100°C.


Oxidation Oxygen Iron Polymer Diffusion Coefficient 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Atkinson
    • 1
  • M. L. O'Dwyer
    • 1
  • R. I. Taylor
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials Development DivisionAERE HarwellUK

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