The influence of aluminium added in amounts of about 1.6%, 2.1%, or 2.8% on the effectiveness of cast iron spheroidization with magnesium was determined. The cast iron was melted and treated with FeSiMg7 master alloy under industrial conditions. The metallographic examinations were performed for the separately cast rods of 20 mm diameter. They included the assessment of the shape of graphite precipitates and of the matrix structure. The results allowed to state that the despheroidizing influence of aluminium (introduced in the above mentioned quantities) is the stronger, the higher is the aluminium content in the alloy. The results of examinations carried out by means of a computer image analyser enabled the quantitative assessment of the considered aluminium addition influence. It was found that the despheroidizing influence of aluminium (up to about 2.8%) yields the crystallization of either the deformed nodular graphite precipitates or vermicular graphite precipitates. None of the examined specimens, however, contained the flake graphite precipitates. The results of examinations confirmed the already known opinion that aluminium widens the range of ferrite crystallization.
The work determined the influence of aluminium in the amount from about 1% to about 7% on the graphite precipitates in cast iron with relatively high silicon content (3.4% to 3.90%) and low manganese content (about 0.1%). The cast iron was spheroidized with cerium mixture and graphitized with ferrosilicon. The performed treatment resulted in occurring of compact graphite precipitates, mainly nodular and vermicular, of various size. The following parameters were determined: the area percentage occupied by graphite, perimeters of graphite precipitates per unit area, and the number of graphite precipitates per unit area. The examinations were performed by means of computer image analyser, taking into account four classes of shape factor. It was found that as the aluminium content in cast iron increases from about 1.1% to about 3.4%, the number of graphite precipitates rises from about 700 to about 1000 per square mm. For higher Al content (4.2% to 6.8%) this number falls within the range of 1300 – 1500 precipitates/mm2 . The degree of cast iron spheroidization increases with an increase in aluminium content within the examined range, though when Al content exceeds about 2.8%, the area occupied by graphite decreases. The average size of graphite precipitates is equal to 11-15 μm in cast iron containing aluminium in the quantity from about 1.1% to about 3.4%, and for higher Al content it decreases to about 6 μm.
The influence of aluminium (added in quantity from about 0.6% to about 2.8%) on both the alloy matrix and the shape of graphite precipitates in cast iron treated with a fixed amounts of cerium mischmetal (0.11%) and ferrosilicon (1.29%) is discussed in the paper. The metallographic examinations were carried out for specimens cut out of the separately cast rods of 20 mm diameter. It was found that the addition of aluminium in the amounts from about 0.6% to about 1.1% to the cast iron containing about 3% of carbon, about 3.7% of silicon (after graphitizing modification), and 0.1% of manganese leads to the occurrence of the ferrite-pearlite matrix containing cementite precipitates in the case of the treatment of the alloy with cerium mischmetal . The increase in the quantity of aluminium up to about 1.9% or up to about 2.8% results either in purely ferrite matrix in this first case or in ferrite matrix containing small amounts of pearlite in the latter one. Nodular graphite precipitates occurred only in cast iron containing 1.9% or 2.8% of aluminium, and the greater aluminium content resulted in the higher degree of graphite spheroidization. The noticeable amount of vermicular graphite precipitates accompanied the nodular graphite.
The influence of a shape of graphite precipitates in cast iron on the thermal shock resistance of the alloy was initially determined. Investigations included the nodular cast iron and the vermicular one, as well as the cast iron containing flake graphite. The thermal shock resistance was examined at a special laboratory stand which allowed for multiple heating and cooling of specimens within the presumed temperature range. The specimens were inductively heated and then cooled in water of constant temperature of about 30°C. There were used flat specimens 70 mm long, 5 mm thick in the middle part, and tapering like a wedge over a distance of 15 mm towards both ends. The total length of cracks generated on the test surfaces of the wedge-shaped parts of specimens was measured as a characteristic value inversely proportional to the thermal shock resistance of a material. The specimens heated up to 500°C were subjected to 2000 test cycles of alternate heating and cooling, while the specimens heated up to 600°C underwent 1000 such cycles. It was found that as the heating temperature rose within the 500-600°C range, the thermal shock resistance decreased for all examined types of cast iron. The research study proved that the nodular cast iron exhibited the best thermal shock resistance, the vermicular cast iron got somewhat lower results, while the lowest thermal shock resistance was exhibited by grey cast iron containing flake graphite.
The work presents results of investigations concerning the production of cast iron containing about 5-6% aluminium, with the ferritic matrix in the as-cast state and nodular or vermicular graphite precipitates. The examined cast iron came from six melts produced under the laboratory conditions. It contained aluminium in the amount of 5.15% to 6.02% (carbon in the amount of 2.41% to 2.87%, silicon in the amount of 4.50% to 5.30%, and manganese in the amount of 0.12% to 0.14%). After its treatment with cerium mixture and graphitization with ferrosilicon (75% Si), only nodular and vermicular graphite precipitates were achieved in the examined cast iron. Moreover, it is possible to achieve the alloy of pure ferritic matrix, even after the spheroidizing treatment, when both the aluminium and the silicon occur in cast iron in amounts of about 5.2÷5.3%.