The paper is concerned with comparing the methods for determining the ferrite content in castings from duplex stainless steels. It uses Schaeffler diagram, empirical formula based calculation, image analysis of metallographic sample, X-ray diffraction and measurement with a feritscope. The influence of wall thickness of the casting on the ferrite content was tested too. The results of the experiments show that the casting thickness of 25 or 60 mm does not have a significant effect on the measured amount of ferrite. The image analysis of metallographic sample and the measurement with the feritscope appear to be the most suitable methods. On the contrary, predictive methods, such as Schaeffler diagram or empirical formula based calculation are only indicative and cannot replace the real measurements. X-ray diffraction seems to be the least suitable measuring method. Values of ferrite content measured in such a way often deviated from the values measured by image analysis and with feritscope.
Determination of the ferrite content in austenitic steels, which solidified under defined conditions. Ferrite content in austenitic matrix was determined from samples with wall thickness of 60 mm. Measured ferrite contents served to propose the regression equations for the calculation of the ferrite content in steels with Cr content of 18 up to 22 % and Ni of 9 up to 11 %. An additional regression equation was proposed for steels with a higher Ni content. The proposed regression equations have been checked up on the operating melts. In conclusion, the ferrite content in the axis of the casting of wall thickness of 500 mm has been calculated and it was compared to the ferrite determined in the usual way from the cast-on test.
Deoxidation of steel with carbon under reduced pressure is often used for increasing the steel purity. Suitable units for this purpose in foundries are vacuum induction furnaces. Possibilities of increasing the steel purity by deoxidation with carbon in the vacuum induction furnace were studied for the steel for the petrochemistry of specific composition 25Cr/35Ni. The charge composed of the return material only was melted in the air. During melting the charge oxidized and the oxidizing slag formed. Chemical composition of steel, morphology, chemical composition of inclusions in the steel and chemical composition of slag after vacuuming were studied on the basis of samples taken before and after vacuuming. Temperature and oxygen activity were measured before and after vacuuming. Globular inclusions with dominant content of silicon and manganese were observed in steel before and after vacuuming. Contents of total oxygen in steel didn’t change significantly during vacuuming. On the basis of composition of inclusions and measured oxygen activity the activity of Cr2O3 in inclusions was calculated. A slag sample was taken after vacuuming and equilibrium oxygen activity in steel with regard to the Cr2O3 content in the slag was estimated from the slag composition. Equilibrium oxygen activity in relation to the Cr2O3 content in the slag was higher than equilibrium activity measured in the steel. For this reason it is not possible, under the studied conditions, to decrease oxygen content in steel during vacuuming.
Oxygen is an element that is first purposely brought into the steel melt to remove some unwanted elements or to reduce their concentration (oxidation). In the made cast steel there is on the contrary necessary to reduce the oxygen content with the use of deoxidation to such a level in order to avoid a reaction with carbon with the formation of CO bubbles. Concentration of oxygen in steel before casting is given, in particular, by the manner of metallurgical processing and the used deoxidation process. Oxygen is found in molten steels both as chemically bound in the form of oxides and in the form of oxygen dissolved in the solution – the melt. Chemical composition of the melt strongly influences the activity of oxygen dissolved in the melt and further on the composition of oxidic inclusions forming in the melt during the reaction with oxygen. In the Fe-C-Cr-Ni based alloys in the reaction with oxygen greatly participates also chrome, whose products are often in solid state and they are the cause of forming such defects as e.g. oxidic films.