In cast iron, graphite develops in conjunction with the metallic matrix during solidification. The morphology and distribution of the embedded graphite is pivotal for mechanical properties from yield strength to fatigue. A novel high temperature environmental cell was developed and combined with in situ synchrotron tomography to investigate and quantify microstructural evolution, including graphite nodule nucleation and growth rates in ductile cast iron. The mechanisms of degenerate graphite nodule formation were also revealed. The formation of a coherent primary gamma phase dendritic network before the graphite nucleation is demonstrated. The graphite nodule nucleation rate, mobility and growth rates are compared to classical models, highlighting the limitations in these models. The results provide unique insights to tune the temperature pathways during cast iron solidification to achieve desired uniform rounded graphite morphologies and size distributions.
Bibliographical note© 2018 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
- Graphite morphology
- Cast iron
- Synchrotron radiation computed
- Nucleation and growth
- Growth kinetics