A model to predict carburization profiles in high temperature alloys

Research paper by K. Bongartz, D. F. Lupton, H. Schuster

Indexed on: 01 Nov '80Published on: 01 Nov '80Published in: Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A


A mathematical model has been developed which, by means of finite difference computation techniques, permits the prediction of carbon concentration profiles in carburized high temperature alloys. It is assumed that a proportion of the carbon which diffuses into the alloy reacts with elements such as chromium to form carbide precipitates. The amount of carbon remaining in solution is determined from the solubility product of the carbide. Only this carbon in solution is able to diffuse through the alloy matrix, and thus the carbide precipitation process reduces the rate of carburization. Applying the model, the diffusion coefficient of carbon in Alloy 800 H at 900 °C has been determined as (3.3 ± 0.5) × 10−8 cm2/s. The model can also treat the carburization of an alloy containing two carbide-forming elements, but application to alloys containing both chromium and niobium (columbium) was successful only to a limited extent, probably as a result of the slow, complex kinetics of carbide precipitation. The model can be used to adapt carbon concentration profiles from one geometrical configuration to another. On the basis of profiles determined experimentally on small, cylindrical test specimens, carbon concenration profiles have been predicted for thick section tubes of Alloy 800 H exposed to a carburizing environment for up to 100,000 h.