Variation of the composition, structure, and hardness of cementite with quenching
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With quenching of white synthetic cast irons (Fe−C and Fe−C−Cr) from temperatures up to 1000°C the cementite lattice is distorted, the volume of the unit cell decreases, the carbon content decreases, and the microhardness increases considerably. The phenomenon is reversible, and the observed effects of the hardening of cementite are removed by high-temperature tempering.
The fact that the results contradict earlier results can be explained by the completing processes — the effect of hardening of the carbide phase and the initial stages of graphitization occurring at high temperatures, particularly in commercial cast irons containing silicon.
The investigation confirmed Baikov's assumption that cementite is a phase of variable composition. With increasing temperatures cementite approaches austenite in its carbon concentration and the chains of octahedral cells of the iron sublattice.
KeywordsIron Silicon Carbide Austenite Carbon Content
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