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IRON CARBON SYSTEM

Intro, Allotropy, Iron, Steel, etc.


INTRODUCTION
 Alloys of iron carbon system includes steel and
cast iron
 Steels: carbon content upto 2%

 Cast irons: carbon content above 2%

 Because of its outstanding commercial


importance, the iron-carbon system has been
studied in more detail than most alloy system
MICRO-CONSTITUENTS OF IRON AND STEEL
 Steel when heated above austenitic temperature
and cooled under differential condition, the
austenite in steel transforms into variety of
micro-constituents
 Various micro-constituents are
a) Austenite
b) Ferrite
c) Cementite
d) Pearlite
e) Bainite
f) Martensite
g) Troostite
h) Sorbite
AUSTENITE
 Solid solution of carbon and/or other alloying
elements (e.g., Mn, Ni, etc.) in gamma iron
 Carbon is in interstitial solid solution with iron

 Austenite can dissolve max 2% carbon @ 1130˚C

 Normally unstable at room temperature

 Non-magnetic and soft


FERRITE
 BCC iron phase with very limited solubility for
carbon (max sol 0.025% carbon @723˚C)
 Dissolves only 0.008% C @ room temperature

 Softest structure that appears on Fe-C


equilibrium diagram
CEMENTITE
 Cementite or iron carbide (Fe3C), contains 6.67%
C by weight
 Typically hard and brittle interstitial compound

 Hardest structure that appears on Fe-C diagram

 Crystal structure is orthorhombic


LEDEBURITE
 Eutectic mixture of austenite and cementite
 Contains 4.3% C @ 1130˚C
PEARLITE
 Consist of alternate lamellae of ferrite and
cementite
 Product of austenite decomposition of eutectoid
reaction
 Eutectoid mixture of containing 0.8% C and is
formed @ 723˚C
IRON CARBON EQUILIBRIUM
DIAGRAM
INTRO
 Fe-C equilibrium diagram forms a basis for
differentiating among iron (0.008%C or less),
hypoeutectoid steels (0.008%-0.8%C),
hupereutectoid steels (0.8%-2.0%C), hypoeutectic
CI (2%-4.3%C) and hypereutectic CI (above
4.3%C)
 Has a peritectic, a eutectic and a eutectoid
 Peritectic equation may be written as
cooling
 Delta (δ) + liquid Austenite
heating
 Horizontal line @ 2720 F shows peritectic reaction

 Eutectic reaction may be written as


 Liquid Austenite + cementite
[eutectic mixture (ledeburite)]

 Takes place @ 2066 F (4.3%C)


 Eutectoid reaction
 Represented by horizontal line @ 1333 F
 Solid ferrite + cementite
[eutectoid mixture (pearlite)]
HYPOEUTECTOID STEEL CONTAINING
0.4%C
 Steel containing 0.4% carbon is a hypoeutectoid steel
 Completely austenite above A3
 Below A3 iron begins to change from FCC to BCC
 BCC iron begins to separate out from austenite
 BCC structure retain a small amount if carbon and referred as ferrite
 As cooling proceeds, ferrite crystal grow in size at the expense of
austenite
 By the time steel reaches A1 line, it is composed if half ferrite and
half austenite
 At this stage austenite contains 0.83%C and since it cannot contain
more than this at 1333F, carbon precipitate as cementite if cooled
further
 This cementite and still separating ferrite form alternate layers until
all austenite is consumed
 The lamellae structure, i.e., eutectoid of ferrite and cementite
contains 0.83%C and is known as Pearlite
 All hypoeutectoid steels when cooled from austenite state will
transform into ferrite and peralite in the same way
EUTECTOID STEEL CONTAINING 0.83%C
 Will remain austenite up to point S
 Transformation begins and end at the same
temperature (1333F)
 Since eutectoid steel contains 0.83% carbon
initially, it follows that the final transformed
structure will be completely pearlite
HYPEREUTECTOID STEEL 1.2%C
 As temperature falls and steel crosses Acm line
at point d and moves towards e, excess carbon
above the amount required to saturate austenite
(0.83%) is precipitated as cementite
 Above lower critical temperature line (1333F) the
structure consists of austenite and cementite
 As it is cooled further, austenite becomes less
rich in carbon and gets converted in pearlite