Primary Structure and Graphite Nodules in Thin-Walled High-Nickel Ductile Iron Castings.
Marcin Górny, Magdalena Kawalec, Gabriela Sikora, Ewa Olejnik and Hugo Lopez
This paper considers the most important quality factors in processing spheroidal graphite cast iron; namely, primary grains and graphite nodules in thin-walled ductile iron castings (TWDI). In the present study, the effect of grain refinement (by means of Ti, Nb and Zr) and of the holding time after spheroidization and inoculation on effecting the primary grains and eutectic structure in TWDI castings was investigated. Moreover, metallographic examinations (including electron backscattering diffraction, EBSD) were carried out to reveal the macro- and micro-structural features during the primary and eutectic solidification of the cast iron. EBSD results indicate that, within a single dendritic grain, there are numerous boundaries that split the grain into numerous smaller areas. In particular, it is found that the graphite nodules are in contact with the boundaries inside the primary dendritic grain. In turn, crystallization of highly branched dendrites is observed, which seems to “push” the graphite nodules into the interdendritic regions during their growth. The present work investigates the dominant mechanism that gives rise to the primary spheroidal graphite cast iron (SGI) structure. In addition, this work shows that the melt quality is closely associated with the resultant morphology and number of austenite dendrites, graphite nodules, and matrix structure.