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Materials Science and Engineering A363 (2003) 5361

Kinetic interactions between solid iron and molten aluminium

A. Bouayad a,b , Ch. Gerometta a, , A. Belkebir c , A. Ambari b

LPMI/Laboratoire Industriel de Fonderie, ENSAM CER dAngers, 2 Bd du Ronceray, 49035 Angers Cedex, France b LPMI/EMT, ENSAM CER dAngers, 2 Bd du Ronceray, 49035 Angers Cedex, France c Fonderies du Poitou Fonte, TEKSID Group, 86220 Ingrandes sur Vienne, France Received 15 October 2002; received in revised form 3 June 2003

Abstract In order to improve the metallurgical bond between ferrous inserts and aluminium matrix in castings, the interaction between molten aluminium and solid iron is studied by immersion tests. Morphology evolution and growth kinetics of the intermetallic layers Fe2 Al5 and FeAl3 were established as a function of time and temperature. For medium interaction time (<45 min), a diffusion regime controlled the Fe2 Al5 growth, while FeAl3 grew under a kinetic regime. The apparent activation energy was evaluated in the range of 700900 C for the diffusional growth of the Fe2 Al5 layer. A theoretical approach based on a reaction diffusion model of simultaneous growth of the two intermetallic layers was successfully used to describe growth kinetics. The parabolic and linear rate constants of Fe2 Al5 and FeAl3 were identied. This approach rationalizes the experiments. 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Kinetic interactions; Intermetallics; Reaction diffusion; Solid iron; Liquid aluminium

1. Introduction The incorporation of reinforcements in aluminium alloy castings is a technique increasingly used to obtain parts combining resistance and lightness [13]. Bimetallic pieces, which combine the good mechanical properties of a ferrous metal with the low density of aluminium alloys, are of particular interest for automotive applications. However, achieving high performance requires good bonding. A continuous metallurgical bond, made up of intermetallic layers, is ideal to guarantee the sealing and heat transfer and to ensure a perfect mechanical connection. The study of the formation and the growth of intermetallic compounds in the FeAl system is also important for other processing techniques, such as hot dip aluminizing, cementing, CVD and liquid metal corrosion [46].

Corresponding author. Tel.: +33-2-4120-7374; fax: +33-2-4120-7394. E-mail addresses: a, (A. Bouayad), (Ch. Gerometta), (A. Belkebir), (A. Ambari). 0921-5093/$ see front matter 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/S0921-5093(03)00469-6

Reaction diffusion laws govern the formation and the growth of intermetallic layers at the interface between a solid and a liquid metal. Several authors have dealt with the theoretical models that describe these phenomena [7,9]. In a strict diffusional perspective, the growth of these intermediate phases follows parabolic kinetics. However, this diffusional approach is not sufcient to explain certain experimental observations. The consideration of a chemical reaction step allowed Dybkov [10] to propose more realistic models for binary systems. These models clarify the reasons for the absence of certain phases expected from the phase diagram and which are not observed experimentally. The properties of the entire intermetallic layer depend on the types of phases formed, their morphologies and thicknesses. Consequently, the knowledge of these phenomena and the associated growth mechanisms are important. The aim of this work is to study the interaction of pure solid iron with pure liquid aluminium in order to characterize the types of interfacial phases formed, their morphology and growth kinetics. The model of Dybkov [10] is used to quantify the growth kinetics. The AlFe system has been selected because of its importance in the eld of insertion in die casting. Denner et al. [11] and Bahadur and Mohanty [12] undertook studies to ensure a perfect


A. Bouayad et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A363 (2003) 5361

adherence in the case of hot dip aluminizing of sheets of low and medium carbon steel. The phases formed in the case of the interaction of pure liquid aluminium (or saturated with iron) with pure solid iron (or a mild steel) are FeAl3 near aluminium and Fe2 Al5 near the ferrous substrate [13,14]. The parabolic kinetics of growth found by Denner and Jones [8] and Bouch et al. [15] contradicts the works of Yeremenko et al. [16] and Eggeler et al. [17] who observed negative deviations from the parabolic law after long reaction times. The latter afrm that this deviation is due to the iron enrichment in the aluminium melt by dissolution and not to the spalling of the intermetallic layer as Denner and Jones [8] concluded. This needs conrmation. In fact, Dybkov [18], in a more recent investigation, using the rotating disc technique to study the interaction of a 18Cr10Ni stainless steel with liquid aluminium, pointed out the effect of the presence of a chemical reaction step on the layer growth. He experimentally conrmed the presence of a linear growth stage after the parabolic one (paralinear growth kinetics) of the layers formed during the interaction of this stainless steel with an aluminium melt saturated with iron. This gives a rational explanation for the negative deviation from the parabolic kinetics for long interaction time. The interface between the ferrous substrate and the Fe2 Al5 layer is serrated. Eggeler et al. [13] showed that this tongue-like morphology cannot be explained by a preferential nucleation because no inuence of ferrous substrates grain size was observed. According to the same author, this interface irregularity seems to conform to a planar shape when the temperature of the aluminium melt increases. Shyam et al. [19] and Bouch et al. [15] also conrmed this observation. However, contrary to Bouch et al. [15], Eggeler et al. [13] state that this morphology is not time-dependent. Heumann and Dittrich [20] give a plausible explanation for the Fe/Fe2 Al5 interface irregularity. This tongue-like interface is a result of favorable possibilities for aluminium atoms to diffuse along the c-axis direction of the Fe2 Al5 orthorhombic structure on structural vacancies. This shows that there is still a need to clarify the morphology and the growth kinetics of the intermetallic phases that form when Fe is in contact with liquid Al, both experimentally and theoretically. Therefore, the present work investigates this interaction for the binary model system FeAl. It is expected that the results will provide some guidance for the interpretation of more complex reactions when Fe-based alloys are in contact with Al melts of industrial purity.

Fig. 1. Device used for immersion tests.

2. Experimental Iron samples of high purity (see Table 1) were machined to cylinders of 8-mm diameter and 7-mm height. The average surface roughness Ra was 2.2 m. Samples were xed to a specimen holder by their tapping. They were pickled in an ultrasonic bath in a chemical solution made up of 50% nitric acid (5%) and 50% hydrouoric acid (2%). A small quantity (17 g) of pure aluminium (99.9%, see Table 1) was cleaned of its oxide lm in a 5% NaOH solution for 1 min before melting, followed by washing, then decontamination (neutralization) for 3 min with diluted nitric acid (d = 1.33). The aluminium was melted in an alumina crucible under argon atmosphere as shown in Fig. 1. The temperature of the aluminium melt was measured by a thermocouple in contact with the alumina crucible. The furnace was heated gradually and controlled by a regulator that ensured a temperature of the melt equal to the required temperature (T = 700, 800 or 900 C). Rings and elastomer seals prevented leaks in the furnace. Fixed on a stainless steel holder, the iron sample was preheated to 200 C before dipping. A thermocouple placed on the specimen holder close to the substrate controlled the tem-

Table 1 Chemical analysis of iron and aluminium specimens used in this investigation Impurity (ppm) Iron Aluminium C 5 Si 10 400 Fe Bal. 300 Cu 6.5 30 Co 8.5 Ca 30 S 5 Ni 0.9 Mn 0.35 Mg 4 Cr 0.4

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perature. When the temperature of molten aluminium was stabilized (rolled up resistance ensures good temperature homogeneity), the sample was dipped into static molten aluminium for a xed time t (t = 145 min). The solidliquid interaction was interrupted by switching off the heating system and quenching the aluminized substrate in water to room temperature (>400 K s1 ). The cylindrical sample was cut parallel to its axis (i.e. normal to the FeAl interface) with a diamond disc saw in order to minimize damage at the interface. It was then polished down to 1 m for microstructural examination. The chemical reagents used for etching depend on the phases to reveal. Hydrouoric acid (0.5%) was used for aluminium, Nital (2%) for pure iron and NaOH (10%) for the intermetallic phases. The bimetallic samples were examined by both optical and scanning electron microscopy (JEOL 6301F). Compositions of the phases were obtained by electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). An X-ray energy dispersive microprobe (Link-Isis-Oxford 1994) was used.
Fig. 3. Microstructure of the intermetallic layer formed: morphology of the interface with iron (T = 800 C, t = 5 min).

3. Results and discussion 3.1. Morphology and types of intermetallic phases In all experiments carried out, independently of immersion time and melt temperature, two phases were observed at the interface of pure iron with pure liquid aluminium. The rst intermetallic layer (adjacent to iron) was thick and presented a tongue-like shape oriented towards the iron. The second (adjacent to aluminium) was thin and of darker color because it was etched more by the metallographic reagent. This layer presented also some irregularities on the side of the aluminium (see Fig. 2). The morphology of layer 1 (adjacent to pure iron) consisted of a polycrystalline structure in the part close to layer 2, while long monocrystals were present near the iron. These long grains seemed to grow either in transgranular or intergranular directions (Fig. 3). Iron enrichment in the aluminium matrix zone close to the interface with the second layer was observed (see Fig. 2). Fig. 4 shows polyhedric crystals peeled off from the intermetallic layer in the aluminium matrix. The presence of these crystals can also be explained by the decrease of the iron solubility limit in the aluminium during cooling. The occurrence of these crystals is more favored when the cooling rate is increased, the wetting surface is large and the interaction time is long. The origin of the tongue-like shape remains unclear. Anisotropic diffusion (high vacancy concentration in the c-axis of the orthorhombic structure of the formed phase) is a possible explanation for this irregularity. Indeed,

Fig. 2. Microstructure of the interface zone after etching (5% NaOH) revealing the presence of two phases (T = 900 C, t = 10 min).

Fig. 4. Scanning electron micrograph showing crystals spalling (interaction time 45 min at 800 C).


A. Bouayad et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A363 (2003) 5361

the existence of cavities and pores in the intermetallic layer formed, as shown in Fig. 4, corroborates this directed diffusion postulate. The intermetallic phases formed were identical to those observed by other authors [15,19,21]. Indeed, the EDX microprobe gave a major phase composition in the existing interval of Fe2 Al5 . The composition of the minor layer corresponded to FeAl3 , regardless of the interaction time. For the polyhedric crystals, which were observed in the aluminium matrix, several compositions were found such as FeAl2 , Fe2 Al5 and FeAl3 . This conrmed that a number of these crystals had become detached from the intermetallic layer. 3.2. Kinetics of growth of the intermetallic layers In view of the irregularity of the interface between the intermetallic layer and the iron substrate, the thickness quantication of the layers required the determination of a maximum and mean layer thickness, as shown in Fig. 5. Table 2 lists the various thicknesses of the intermetallic layers. Fig. 6 shows the variation of the Fe2 Al5 layer mean and maximum thickness with time at 800 C. This curve demonstrates a parabolic law of growth for the maximum thickness Xmax and mean thickness Xmean , except in the initial stage of growth, which was also observed by Bouch et al. [15]. At 800 C, the thickness Y of FeAl3 (layer 2) is very low compared to that of Fe2 Al5 . Omitting the initial stage of interaction (t < 1 min), the FeAl3 layer thickness is seen to increase linearly with time (see Fig. 7). This indicates a constant growth rate. With regard to the Fe 2 Al5 layer, Xmax is tted with the curve Xmax = 13.452 t (m), from which a parabolic evolution of the type (dx/dt) = (k1 /x) with a constant k1 = 9.05 1011 m2 s1 is obtained.
Fig. 5. Schematic diagram showing the measurement method of the thickness of intermetallic layers on micrographs.

Table 2 Experimental data at 800 C Time (min) Xmean (m) Xmax (m) Z (dimensionless) Y (m) 1 90.5 159 1.07 8 5 159.5 257 0.87 6.5 10 207.6 326 0.8 6.4 15 287 423 0.67 8 30 422 572 0.5 13 45 512 672 0.44 20

For the FeAl3 layer, a linear regression of the curve after the transient stage of growth gives the equation y = 6.4 109 t + 2.217 106 (m). Being linear, the kinetics growth rate is then (dy/dt) = k2 = 6.4 109 m s1 (see Fig. 7). The evolution of the morphology of the wavy Fe/Fe2 Al5 boundary with interaction time can be characterized by the

Fig. 6. Time dependence of the Fe2 Al5 intermetallic layer thickness at 800 C (maximum thickness Xmax () and mean thickness Xmean ()).

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Fig. 7. Variation of the FeAl3 layer thickness with time at 800 C.

non-dimensional ratio Z = (Xmax Xmin )/Xmoy . This ratio allows us to follow the interface uctuations evolution proportionally to the mean thickness. Fig. 8 displays the variation of Z at different times of interaction. At the beginning of the interaction the tongue shape presents a lengthened prole. The interface shows, for short immersion times, signicant distances between peaks and valleys. These distances tend to decrease, in proportion to the mean thickness, with increasing interaction time (Fig. 8). However, this reduction in tongue size seems to lessen with time and to stabilize around a ratio Z = 0.6. This shows that the tongue-like shape does not disappear for long interaction times and consequently is characteristic of this interface between pure iron and the Fe2 Al5 layer.

The results of this study on Fe/Fe2 Al5 interface morphology, rarely mentioned in literature, are in agreement with the results obtained by Bouch et al. [15]. The latter afrm that the disturbance of this interface, appearing from the beginning of the interaction, spreads continuously during the growth of the layer. The intermetallic layer growth kinetics, as a function of temperature, was studied for a xed immersion duration of 10 min. The thicknesses of the layers formed were measured at 700, 800 and 900 C. The Fe2 Al5 layer thickness was found to increase with temperature T according to the law of Arrhenius: Q D = D0 exp , (1) RT

Fig. 8. Morphology evolution of Fe/Fe2 Al5 interface at 800 C: Z characterizes the wavy boundary.


A. Bouayad et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A363 (2003) 5361

Fig. 9. Relationship between ln(X/t1/2 ) (Xmax () and Xmean ()) and 1/T for the Fe2 Al5 layer at a xed immersion time of 10 min.

where D is the diffusion coefcient, D0 a frequency factor, Q the apparent activation energy of the process, T the absolute temperature and R the gas constant. This relationship, only valid under a diffusional regime of growth, is indirectly veried by the evaluation of Q. Fig. 9 shows the relationships between the logarithm of (X/t1/2 ) and the reciprocal of the absolute temperature 1/T; X is the maximum Xmax or mean thickness Xmean of Fe2 Al5 . The apparent activation energies obtained for the maximum and mean thickness of the Fe2 Al5 layer were 73.2 and 74.1 kJ mol1 , respectively. Our apparent activation energy values obtained for Xmax and Xmean were almost identical, contrary to the observations of Eggeler et al. [13] and Heumann and Dittrich [20] (see Table 3). These authors explained the difference by the temperature dependence of the ratio of the maximum to the mean thickness. One observes also that the value obtained by Eggeler et al. [13] for Q with Xmax is greater than that obtained with Xmean , whereas the contrary is observed by Heumann and Dittrich [20]. The different values found by these authors cannot only be caused by the purity degree of the metals used (low alloyed steel by Eggeler et al. [13]). These are also dependent on the immersion time at which the effect of temperature is studied. Actually, at long interaction times and high temperatures, the spalling of the intermetallic layer affects the measurement of layer thickness [8,13]. Consequently, this may have an important inuence on the apparent activation energy evaluation. Moreover, Denner and Jones [8] afrm that carbon presence in iron (low alloyed steel) has a signicant inuence on the apparent activation energy evaluation. The latter in-

creases with increasing carbon content up to 0.17%. This explains the large difference between the experimental values obtained in this study and those by Eggeler et al. [13], since these authors used a low alloyed steel containing 0.16% C. For the FeAl3 layer, the same variation is observed concerning the growth of the intermetallic layer when the temperature increases. It is noticed that FeAl3 thickness (6.4 m) does not change when the temperature increases from 700 to 800 C. On the other hand, the thickness of this layer extends considerably (17 m) when the temperature rises to 900 C. Irregularities in the shape of the interface Fe/Fe2 Al5 , characterized by the ratio Z, present little change with temperature (1.19 for 700 C, 1.19 for 800 C and barely reaching 1.16 for 900 C). Hence, it seems that temperature has no appreciable effect on the Fe/Fe2 Al5 interface perturbation. This observation conrms the activation energy evaluation for Xmax and Xmean . 3.3. Growth of the intermetallic phases: theoretical approach Among the models, which describe growth of intermetallic layers formed when a liquid metal reacts with a solid substrate, Dybkovs model [10] remains most suitable to be applied in the case under consideration. This model deals with the growth of two chemical compound layers at the interface between two elementary substances. This corresponds to the growth of Fe2 Al5 and FeAl3 layers at the interface between pure iron and pure liquid aluminium. After an initial stage

Table 3 Values of the apparent activation energy Q obtained by several authors [8,13,20] Author Denner and Jones [8] Heumann and Dittrich [20] With Xmax Q (kJ mol1 ) 155 58.8 With Xmean 76.1 Eggeler et al. [13] With Xmax 155 With Xmean 134 Present study with Xmax 73.2 with Xmean 74.1

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of growth (which was difcult to study experimentally and after which saturation of the melt region near the interface was supposed to reach), this model predicted a paralinear stage of growth. The Fe2 Al5 and FeAl3 growth kinetics are described, respectively, by the equations: k1B1 + k1A2 rg dx = k0B2 , dt x p q k1A2 dy = k0B2 . dt sg x (2)

For the FeAl3 layer, for which the kinetics is linear, we nd k0B2 = 6.4 109 m s1 . (9)

At this stage, we can justify the validity of assumptions of this theoretical approach (for the general assumptions refer to Dybkovs study [10]). The kinetic equation (Eq. (6)) is valid only if k1B1 + k1A2 x hence x k1B1 + k1A2 . (rg/p)k0B2 rg k0B2 , p


If A is Fe, B is Al, Ap Bq is Fe2 Al5 and Ar Bs is FeAl3 , one can interpret the various coefcients as follows: k1A2 : rate constant of the Fe2 Al5 layer growth by Fe diffusion at the interface with FeAl3 : Fe (diffusing) + 5FeAl3 3Fe2 Al5 . k1B1 : rate constant of the Fe2 Al5 layer growth by Al diffusion at the interface with Fe: 2Fe + 5Al (diffusing)Fe2 Al5 . k0B2 : growth rate under conditions of reaction control of the FeAl3 layer by Al diffusion at the interface where the following chemical reaction takes place: Al (diffusing) + Fe2 Al5 2FeAl3 . Therefore, r = 1, s = 3, p = 2, q = 5. g is the ratio of molar volumes of Fe2 Al5 and FeAl3 . According to Dybkov, the densities of the compounds are (Fe2 Al5 ) = 4100 kg m3 and (FeAl3 ) = 3800 kg m3 , hence the molar volumes are V(Fe2 Al5 ) = 6 105 m3 mol1 and V(FeAl3 ) = 3.6 105 m3 mol1 . Thus, g = 1.7. Then Eqs. (2) and (3) become k1B1 + k1A2 dx = 0.85k0B2 , dt x k1A2 dy = k0B2 0.98 . dt x For large X these two equations are reduced to k1B1 + k1A2 dx = , dt x dy = k0B2 . dt (6) (7) (4) (5)

These simplications, which are not obvious initially, will be justied hereafter. This implies parabolic kinetics of growth for the Fe2 Al5 layer (Eq. (6)) and linear kinetics for FeAl3 (Eq. (7)). The paralinear model of Dybkov is in good agreement with experimental observations of the growth kinetics of these layers except for the transient regime of growth (see Figs. 8 and 9). Using the experimental data for the Fe2 Al5 growth kinetics, described by a parabolic equation of the type dx/dt = k1 /x, with k1 = 9.05 1011 m2 s1 , we deduce the value of k1B1 + k1A2 = 9.05 1011 m2 s1 . (8)

Inserting the corresponding values gives x 0.0166 m. This condition is satised because the Fe2 Al5 thickness never reached the value of 1 mm. For the second assumption, which concerns equation (Eq. (7)), we should verify x (q/sg)(k1A2 /k0B2 ). It is more difcult to do because the value of k1A2 is unknown. If we reconsider the denitions of the different coefcients, we note that k1B1 k1A2 because k1A2 is the Fe2 Al5 growth rate by Fe diffusion at the interface with FeAl3 . The diffusing element iron will then combine with FeAl3 to give Fe2 Al5 . k1B1 is the Fe2 Al5 growth rate by Al diffusion at the interface with Fe. These two elements will then form Fe2 Al5 . All the preceding studies show that the element Fe diffuses more slowly than Al [15,22]. Thus, it is clear that iron needs to pass across the entire Fe2 Al5 layer to meet FeAl3 , whereas Al (which diffuses more quickly) will traverse almost the same distance because of the very small thickness of FeAl3 . Hence, faster diffusion of Al than Fe allows us to conclude that k1B1 must be much higher than k1A2 . This statement is also conrmed experimentally by the perturbation of the Fe/Fe2 Al5 interface, which decreases with interaction time. Bouch et al. [15] reported a ratio of DAl /DFe = 106 at 800 C in agreement with several bibliographical data mentioned. Thus, k1A2 can be overestimated by k1B1 /100. Moreover, as we only know the value of the sum k1B1 + k1A2 = 9.05 1011 m2 s1 and k1B1 k1A2 , the higher value achieved by k1A2 is (k1A2 )max = k1B1 /100 =9.05 1013 m2 s1 . The second assumption is satised if x (q/sg)(k1A2 /k0B2 ). To ensure this, it is sufcient to have x (q/sg)((k1A2 )max / k0B2 ), hence x 1.39 104 m. That is largely satised by the model validity range. Besides, it is difcult to compare the experimental values k1 and k2 with those available in the literature because the models used are not the same. However, for the Fe2 Al5 layer where the kinetics of growth is almost parabolic, one can compare the data found with those of other authors (see Table 4). Heumann and Dittrich [20] found k1 = 1010 m2 s1 at 700 C. Denner and Jones [8] found a value of k1 = 1.394 1010 m2 s1 for an exponent


A. Bouayad et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A363 (2003) 5361

Table 4 Comparison of kinetic constants obtained by several authors [8,13,14,20] Author Temperature ( C) Purity degree of iron Purity degree of aluminium Fe2 Al5 kinetic tting method for Xmax k1 (m2 s1 ) Heumann and Dittrich [20] 700 Pure iron Iron-saturated melt x = 2 k1 t 1010 Eggeler et al. [13] 786 Low-alloyed steel Iron-saturated melt x = 2k1 t n (n = 0.49) 5.64 1011 Denner and Jones [8] 771 99.78% 99.99% x = 2k1 t n (n = 0.45) 1.394 1010 Bouch e et al. [14] 800 99.78% 99.997% x = 2 k1 t 2.645 1012 Present study 800 99.999% 99.9% x = 2 k1 t 9.05 1011

n = 0.45 (instead of 0.5 corresponding to parabolic kinetics) at a temperature of 771 C. Eggeler et al. [13], for an iron-saturated aluminium melt at a temperature of 786 C, found k1 = 5.64 1011 m2 s1 for an exponent of 0.49. Furthermore, Bouch et al. [14] found the growth constant k1 = 2.645 1012 m2 s1 at 800 C. The discrepancies observed can be explained by different experimental conditions (iron saturated melt, metal purity, variation of melt temperatures). This is also due to the different methods of determining k1 . Depending on whether we suppose a perfectly parabolic kinetics dx/dt = k1 /x, hence x = 2k1 t (exponent 0.5), or we t the data to an equation of the form x = ktn , where n is close to 0.5, the value of k1 can change. Dybkovs model was used to identify the Fe2 Al5 growth kinetics by taking into account a chemical reaction stage omitted in the other models. For moderate interaction times the kinetics, which is of industrial interest in manufacturing bimetallic pieces, is parabolic. It is, therefore, in agreement with the experimental observations and the preceding studies. For the FeAl3 layer, Dybkovs theory envisaging linear kinetics was conrmed by experimental measurements. This important result is rarely mentioned in the literature because of the low thickness of FeAl3 .

Fe2 Al5 maximum thickness and 74.1 kJ mol1 for the mean thickness. The acquired knowledge on the interaction of liquid aluminium and solid iron will allow manufacturing of bimetallic pieces (high-pressure die casting of motor bedplates) under well-controlled conditions.

Acknowledgements The authors wish to thank the industrial partner of this study, Fonderie Aluminium de Clon (TEKSID group) represented by A. Valette, for nancial and experimental support.

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4. Conclusion Two intermetallic layers were observed to form during the interaction between pure solid iron and pure liquid aluminium. The major phase was Fe2 Al5 and the other FeAl3 . The growth kinetics was determined experimentally at temperatures between 700 and 900 C. After a short transient period, the Fe2 Al5 layer growth obeys a parabolic law, while the FeAl3 layer growth is linear. The theoretical approach of Dybkov, which models the simultaneous growth of two intermetallic layers at the interface of two elementary substances by taking into account both diffusion and chemical reaction processes, was successfully applied to the FeAl system. Parabolic and linear kinetic constants were determined for both layers formed. The apparent activation energy for the Fe2 Al5 layer growth process was evaluated and compared with the results of other authors. It was found to be 73.2 kJ mol1 for the

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