Tribology Letters

, 62:32 | Cite as

Three-Body Abrasive Behavior of Cementite–Iron Composite with Different Cementite Volume Fractions

  • Baochao ZhengEmail author
  • Zhifu HuangEmail author
  • Jiandong Xing
  • Yong Wang
  • Yongxin Jian
  • Yiyang Xiao
  • Xiao Fan
Original Paper


Cementite–iron composites with 0, 7.83, 18.56, 49.21, 81.75 and 100 vol% cementite were prepared by melting and plasma spark sintering. The effect of cementite content on microstructure, mechanical properties and wear resistance of the cementite–iron composites was investigated. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffractometry results indicate that the cementite–iron composite microstructure consists of cementite (θ), pearlite and ferrite. Subsequently, the wear behavior of cementite–iron composites was studied using a three-body abrasive wear tester. An increase in volume fraction of cementite improved the wear resistance due to the increased material hardness under an applied pressure of 0.065 MPa. When the volume fraction of cementite is greater than 81.75 %, the wear resistance decreases at an applied pressure of 0.098 MPa because of the increased fracturing and peeling off of the cementite. The bulk wear-resistant hard phase (cementite) and toughness matrix (pearlite) composite structure has a better abrasive resistance in white cast iron with 18.56 and 49.21 % cementite volume fractions under a higher impact load, because of the combined protective and supporting effect. Work hardness changed the mechanical properties of composite. Meanwhile, the wear resistance is improved for pure iron and eutectoid steel. The subsurface depth as measured by nanoindentation and metallographic analysis of a vertical section was ~5 mm. The hardness and elastic modulus decreased significantly with increase in subsurface depth. The surface roughness of composites with different cementite contents has been described and analyzed using three-dimensional laser scanning microscopy.


Three-body abrasive wear Single-phase cementite Wear resistance Surface roughness 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51271142, 51371138) and the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET-12-0457).


  1. 1.
    Fang, F., Zhao, Y.F., Liu, P.P., Zhou, L.C., Hu, X.J., Zhou, X.F., Xie, Z.H.: Deformation of cementite in cold drawn pearlitic steel wire. Mat. Sci. Eng. A 608, 11–15 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Prasad, N., Kulkarni, S.D.: Relation between microstructure and abrasive wear of plain carbon steels. Wear 63(2), 329–338 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Clayton, P.: The relations between wear behaviour and basic material properties for pearlitic steels. Wear 60(1), 75–93 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Xu, L., Kennon, N.F.: A study of the abrasive wear of carbon steels. Wear 148(1), 101–112 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Moore, M.A.: The relationship between the abrasive wear resistance hardness and microstructure of ferritic materials. Wear 28(1), 59–68 (1974)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Larsen, B.J.: The abrasion resistance of some hardened and tempered carbon steels. AIME Met. Soc. Trans. 236, 1461–1466 (1966)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    American Society for Testing and Materials: ASTM A532–93. Standard Specification for Abrasion-resistant Cast Irons, vol. 1.02, pp. 282–285. American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, PA (1999) Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Eiselstein, L.E., Ruano, O.A., Sherby, O.D.: Structural characterisation of rapidly solidified white cast iron powders. J. Mater. Sci. 18, 483–492 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Shean, K.H.W., Hemanth, J., Sharma, S.C.: Wear characteristics of sub-zero chilled cast iron. Wear 192, 134–140 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bedolla-Jacuinde, A., Aguilar, S.L., Hernández, B.: Eutectic modification in a low-chromium white cast iron by a mixture of titanium, rare earths, and bismuth: I. Effect on microstructure. J. Mater. Eng. Perform. 14(2), 149–157 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Coronado, J.J.: Effect of load and carbide orientation on abrasive wear resistance of white cast iron. Wear 270(11), 823–827 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Coronado, J.J., Sinatora, A.: Load effect in abrasive wear mechanism of cast iron with graphite and cementite. Wear 267(1), 6–11 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Coronado, J.J., Sinatora, A.: Abrasive wear study of white cast iron with different solidification rates. Wear 267(11), 2116–2121 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Coronado, J.J., Sinatora, A.: Effect of abrasive size on wear of metallic materials and its relationship with microchips morphology and wear micromechanisms: part 1. Wear 271(9), 1794–1803 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Katsuki, F., Watari, K., Tahira, H., Umino, M.: Abrasive wear behavior of a pearlitic (0.4% C) steel microalloyed with vanadium. Wear 264(3), 331–336 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Umemoto, M., Liu, Z.G., Takaoka, H., Sawakami, M., Tsuchiya, K., Masuyama, K.: Production of bulk cementite and its characterization. Metall. Mater. Trans. A 32(8), 2127–2131 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Umemoto, M., Liu, Z.G., Masuyama, K., Tsuchiya, K.: Influence of alloy additions on production and properties of bulk cementite. Scr. Mater. 45(4), 391–397 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Umemoto, M., Todaka, Y., Takahashi, T., Li, P., Tokumiya, R., Tsuchiya, K.: Characterization of bulk cementite produced by mechanical alloying and spark plasma sintering. Wear 15, 607–614 (2003)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Umemoto, M., Todaka, Y., Takahashi, T., P, Li, Tokumiya, R., Tsuchiya, K.: High temperature deformation behavior of bulk cementite produced by mechanical alloying and spark plasma sintering. Mat. Sci. Eng. A 375, 894–898 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Boy, J.W.: Development and use of an abrasion test for cast iron and steels. Iron Steel 2, 57–63 (1969)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Yi, D.W., Xing, J.D., Ma, S.Q., Chen, W., Li, Y.F., Yan, J.B., Zhang, J.J., Liu, Z.X., Zhu, J.: Three-body abrasive wear behavior of low carbon Fe–B cast alloy and its microstructures under different casting process. Tribol. Lett. 42(1), 67–77 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Yi, D.W., Xing, J.D., Zhang, Z.Y., Fu, H.G., Yang, C.Y.: Effect of titanium and nitrogen additions on the microstructures and three-body abrasive wear behaviors of Fe–B cast alloys. Tribol. Lett. 54(2), 107–117 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Yi, D.W., Xing, J.D., Fu, H.G., Zhang, Z.Y., Zhang, J.M., Yang, C.Y., Ma, S.Q., Li, Y.F.: Investigations on microstructures and three-body abrasive wear behaviors of Fe–B cast alloy containing cerium. Tribol. Lett. 58(2), 1–11 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Yi, D.W., Xing, J.D., Ma, S.Q., Fu, H.G., Li, Y.F., Chen, W., Zhang, Z.J.: Investigations on microstructures and two-body abrasive wear behavior of Fe–B cast alloy. Tribol. Lett. 45(3), 427–435 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zhou, Q.D.: Antiwear Chromium System Cast Iron, pp. 18–19. Xi’an Jiaotong University Press, Xi’an (1986)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    American Society for Testing and Materials: ASTM E384–08. Standard Test Method For Microindentation Hardness Of Materials. American Society for Testing and Materials, West Conshohocken (2008)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Zhou, C.T., Xiao, B., Feng, J., Xing, J.D., Xie, X.J., Chen, Y.H., Zhou, R.: First principles study on the elastic properties and electronic structures of (Fe, Cr)3C. Comput. Mater. Sci. 45(4), 986–992 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Xiao, B., Xing, J.D., Feng, J., Zhou, C.T., Li, Y.F., Su, W., Xie, X.J., Chen, Y.H.: A comparative study of Cr7C3, Fe3C and Fe2B in cast iron both from ab initio calculations and experiments. J. Phys. D Appl. Phys. 42(11), 115415 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Zheng, B.C., Huang, Z.F., Xing, J.D., Fan, X.: Three-body abrasive wear behavior of cementite with different chromium concentrations. Tribol. Lett. 61(2), 1–11 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Richardson, R.C.D.: The wear of metals by hard abrasives. Wear 10, 291–309 (1967)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Mechanical Behavior of Materials, School of Materials Science and EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations