Designing a Novel Graphitic White Iron for Metal-to-Metal Wear Systems

Research paper by Jie Wan, Jingjing Qing; Mingzhi Xu

Indexed on: 21 Dec '18Published on: 18 Dec '18Published in: Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A


Metal-to-metal wear systems are widely used in various industries, but heat-induced adhesive wear has been limiting the lifetime of the components for many years. An idea of introducing interconnected flake graphite networks into white iron was developed by the authors, which can potentially solve this problem by increasing the overall thermal conductivity. To optimize the thermal conductivity and wear resistance, five alloys with different chromium and carbon contents were designed, produced, and investigated to develop the first generation of graphitic white iron. Mathematical models were developed to correlate the graphite phase concentration and cooling rate with carbon equivalent. It was shown that graphite volume percent needs to be higher than 7 pct to have a consistent thermal conductivity increase. Hardness model developed in this article suggested that M7C3 has a higher hardness than the plate cementite, and hardness increases with increasing chromium content in the carbides. The as-solidified microstructure was characterized using a SEM, and solidification sequence was established for this novel alloy system. Unexpectedly, for the first time, study of alloy with 11 wt pct Cr shows that M7C3 was formed during eutectic reaction and then transformed into cementite at a lower temperature.