Effects of Graphite Additions and Heat Treatment on the Microstructure, Mechanical and Tribological Properties of 13% Chromium White Iron


A 13% chromium white iron was produced using a stir cast process. Samples of the produced white iron were austenised at 1450°C and then quenched in water to the room temperature. The characterisation tools such as X-ray diffractometer, scanning electron microscope, Brinell hardness tester and pin on disc machine were employed in the studies of the phase orientation and morphology, hardness value measurement and investigation of wear behaviour. The results revealed that water quenching the 13% chromium white iron led to the precipitation of fine iron chromides and cementite in the matrix of martensite. Moreover, there is an about 22% to 45% increase in hardness values of the as-cast 13% chromium white iron as the %composition of graphite additions increased from 1.36 to 3.04. However, the impact energy values are sacrificed. The increase in hardness values is attributable to hard intermetallic compounds such as iron chromides and cementite phases in the iron matrix. Also, there is an about 32% - 42% increase in hardness values of the heat treated samples of 13% chromium white iron when compared with those of the as-cast. The increased hardness values are attributable to even distribution of the fine intermetallic compounds in the fine grains of martensitic matrix. The wear rate increased as the sliding moments per unit time increased due to increasing work done by the friction to oppose the rotation of the pin on disc. The water quenched 13% chromium white iron samples have greater wear resistances than the as-cast samples due to their greater hardness values than those of the as-cast samples. The effect of speed increase on decreasing wear resistances is more pronounced on the heat treated samples than on the as-cast samples. Hence, the water quenched 13% chromium white iron is an excellent material in application requiring high wear resistance and low impact energy especially in grinding mill liner plate, bottom or casing used in the concrete pipe production, roller for crushing and pulverising mills.

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Agunsoye, J. , Bello, S. , Awe, I. , Yekinni, A. , Adeyemo, R. and Ologunagba, A. (2014) Effects of Graphite Additions and Heat Treatment on the Microstructure, Mechanical and Tribological Properties of 13% Chromium White Iron. Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, 2, 270-285. doi: 10.4236/jmmce.2014.24032.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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