Effect of Ferrochromium (Fecr) and Ferroniobium (Fenb) Alloys on Inclusion and Precipitate Characteristics in Austenitic Stainless Steels
28 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2023
Lab-scale alloying experiments were carried out by first adding commercial low-carbon ferrochrome (LCFeCr) alloys and then adding ferroniobium (FeNb) alloys in 316-grade austenitic stainless steel in this study. The inclusion and precipitation characteristics in LCFeCr and FeNb were evaluated as well as in a 316 austenitic stainless steel after the alloy additions by using two- and three-dimensional characterization methods in combination with thermodynamic calculations. The results showed that MnCr2O4 spinels and pure Al2O3 were the main types of inclusions in LCFeCr alloys, while pure TiOx, Al2O3 inclusions and complex TiOx-Al2O3 aggregates were mainly found in FeNb alloys. After the addition of LCFeCr alloy to the steel, the SiO2 contents in liquid inclusions decreased to some extent, while more inclusions containing higher MnO contents were observed. Some MnCr2O4 spinel inclusions can be reduced by Si in steel and form liquid inclusions. Some MnCr2O4 spinel and Al2O3 inclusions from LCFeCr alloy can remain in the steel melt, which decreased the steel cleanliness. After the addition of FeNb alloy, pure TiOx inclusions present in this alloy can hardly be found in the steel melt. The inclusion types in steel were not changed so much but high Nb-containing phases were found around the inclusions and coarse Laves phases were formed in the matrix. Overall, this work aims to understand the impurity particle behavior during the alloying process when using ferroalloys to produce high-performance stainless steels.
Keywords: Ferrochromium, Ferroniobium, non-metallic inclusion, Alloying, Precipitate
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