Solidification behaviour and mechanical

properties of ductile iron castings with varying
thickness
V. D. Shinde*1, B. Ravi2 and K. Narasimhan3
Achieving the desired mechanical properties in thin wall ductile iron castings poured in industrial
production foundries is a challenge. In this work, the effect of copper addition (up to 0?74%) and
melt processing (Ba based stream inoculation) on the matrix structure, mechanical properties and
fracture behaviour of ductile iron castings with varying section thickness (4–16 mm) were
investigated in a regular jobbing foundry. It was possible to obtain 80% pearlitic structure without
carbides in 4 mm sections, giving a tensile strength of 658 MPa with 2?5% ductility and 264 Brinell
hardness. The solidification behaviour represented by the cooling curves helped in checking the
effectiveness of the melt treatment by observing the amount of undercooling. Fractography
studies of tensile specimens showed the change in fracture mechanisms due to increase in
copper content on fracture paths. The increased amount of pearlite in the matrix exhibited brittle
fracture with river pattern.
Keywords: Thin wall casting, Ductile iron, Solidification, Inoculation, Microstructure

Introduction
The transportation industry faces three major challenges:
control of emissions, improvement in fuel efficiency and
reduction in manufacturing cost. One solution to all
these challenges is to reduce vehicle weight; a reduction
of 100 kg is commonly equated to a fuel efficiency
improvement of 0?4 km L21.1 Since castings constitute a
significant proportion of vehicle weight, manufacturers
are exploring weight reduction by redesigning the castings
with thinner walls. Many automotive components are
produced in ductile iron. It is however a challenge to
produce thin wall ductile iron castings with the desired
properties.2
Melt treatment, chemical composition and cooling
rate are important process parameters that determine the
final properties of ductile iron castings. Melt treatment
includes modification and inoculation. The melt is treated
with magnesium alloy (for changing graphite shape from
flake to spheroid) followed by inoculation to facilitate
heterogeneous nucleation (thereby increasing the nodule
count and suppressing carbide formation). Inoculation in
ductile iron reduces the chilling tendency by minimising
carbide formations, thereby promoting ductility and
reducing the possibility of cracks during knockout and
fettling. Graphite nodule count, nodularity (deviation
1

DKTES, Textile and Engineering Institute, Ichalkaranji 416115, India
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology
Bombay, Mumbai 400076, India
3
Department of Metallurgical Engineering & Materials Science, Indian
Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai 400076, India
2

*Corresponding author, email shinde@iitb.ac.in

ß 2012 W. S. Maney & Son Ltd.
Received 6 August 2011; accepted 18 May 2012
DOI 10.1179/1743133612Y.0000000024

from spherical shape) and amount and proportion of
phases are important control parameters to achieve the
desired combination of properties.3 By appropriately
balancing alloying elements and processing sequence, the
desired properties can be achieved in ductile iron castings
without expensive heat treatments.4 Sufficient graphite
nucleation is required to avoid formation of carbides that
arise due to higher solidification rates in thin wall ductile
iron castings.5 The time after spheroidal treatment has a
significant effect on nodularity; inoculants having rare
earth elements fade slower than other inoculants.6 In thin
wall castings, the surface quality also greatly influences
the mechanical properties: a smoother surface finish
results in better properties such as tensile and impact
strength.7
Chemical composition plays a vital role in solidification
processing of ductile iron. Even small changes in the
amount of elements show significant increase or decrease
in mechanical properties of ductile iron.8 Silicon is a
strong solid solution strengthener; it reduces undercooling and avoids carbide formation by nucleating
graphite, and it segregates negatively.9 Copper is a strong
pearlite promoter; its addition up to 1% converts ferritic
structure into pearlitic. Manganese is a pearlite stabiliser
and segregates to grain boundaries and thus increases
hardenability.10 The inoculants having Ca, Ba or Sr along
with a ferrosilicon alloy can be used to improve the
nodularity and nodule count in ductile iron castings.11,12
As the nucleation of graphite starts at higher temperature
in the hypereutectic casting than in the eutectic and
hypoeutectic castings, the undercooling will be lower for
the hypereutectic castings.13 It is necessary to minimise
the levels of any carbide promoting elements, as carbides

International Journal of Cast Metals Research

International Journal of Cast Metals Research

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The Charlesworth Group, Wakefield +44(0)1924 369598 -

Rev 7.51n/W (Jan 20 2003)

2012

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The casting produced in the other cavity (without thermocouple) was used for property studies. Multiple 2 International Journal of Cast Metals Research 2012 VOL 000 2 Actual step casting with gating system gates were provided (one at the end of each section of the casting) for rapid and uniform filling (Fig. The microstructure is determined partially during solidification (graphite shape.18 To summarise.15 The most commonly measured mechanical properties for ductile iron are tensile strength. size and distribution) and partially during solid state transformation (matrix). making the total length of casting 200 mm. it is advantageous to inhibit the reaction products from agglomerating and floating. The four melt compositions with increasing levels of NO International Journal of Cast Metals Research ijc1158. process parameters play an equally important role along with material composition and part geometry (mainly wall thickness) in determining the microstructure and thereby the mechanical properties of ductile iron castings. Experimental In this work. The inoculant was added while transferring the metal from a treatment ladle to pouring ladle of 50 kg. which initiates at the interface of base matrix and graphite nodules. percentage elongation. A wooden pattern of the above design was fabricated and used to prepare the moulds in green sand. 1. The treatment was performed by sandwich method using steel punching to cover the magnesium alloy in a 150 kg treatment ladle. which grows through the ferrite phase. In this work. The data were used for plotting the cooling curves for each section thickness using Smartlog 2000 software. The spectroscopy analysis of the coins was carried out (Bruker. To obtain effective nucleation during subsequent inoculation and to promote a fine dispersion of microparticles in the molten metal. a precalculated amount of copper was quickly added in the remaining metal in the ladle. The width of the casting is 100 mm so as to avoid end freezing effect in the middle of all sections.Shinde et al. A step casting was designed with four sections of thickness. model Q-4 Tasman). 2). the third and fourth moulds were filled with molten metal with increasing amount of copper.14 Variations in the matrix structure will ultimately affect final impact properties due to transition in the crack path mechanisms. The molten metal was tapped into a preheated ladle of 150 kg capacity containing ferrosilicon magnesium alloy granules of size 10–15 mm at the bottom covered with steel scrap. the influence of the matrix structure on the mechanical properties and fracture behaviour is studied by mechanical testing. impact strength and hardness. the fracture path is controlled initially by nodule decohesion and microcracking. This was achieved by adding fine sized (2–4 mm) inoculant in the melt stream during pouring. It is well recognised that the hardness of ductile iron castings depends primarily upon the matrix structure. . A spectroscopy coin was also poured at the same time. The chemical compositions of raw materials were tested and reported in Table 1. Because of the fairly consistent influence of spheroidal graphite and structure of its base matrix. The charge mix was melted in 300 kg capacity coreless medium frequency induction furnace.3d The Charlesworth Group. 12 and 16 mm respectively. In ductile iron. In a similar manner. Each mould comprised two cavities with a common gating system. the tensile properties and the hardness of ductile iron are well related. which is capable of storing 2995 readings for each port. 8. Wakefield +44(0)1924 369598 - Rev 7. is investigated. The thermocouples (K type) were connected to a 16channel data logger (Ambetronics). 4. A pouring ladle was used to take 50 kg of treated metal and pour it into the first mould at a temperature of 1400uC. A total of 16 moulds (with four compositions of varying copper 64 repetitions each) were prepared. Each step is 50 mm long. experiments were conducted to study the solidification behaviour in ductile iron castings with sections having different thickness. This depends on the cooling rate of the casting in the eutectoid transformation region. 150 kg cold rolled steel scrap and balance foundry returns with suitable chemical composition. Further. as shown in Fig. stirred and poured into the second mould.17 The fracture energy of ductile irons is influenced significantly by the constituent matrix phase present in the microstructure. In one cavity. four thermocouples were placed in the middle of each section to capture thermal history during solidification. and the average values of four castings of each composition are shown in Table 2. produced using industrial practices.16 The studies on thin wall ductile iron castings show that mechanical properties of as cast parts are higher than machined castings. the effect of copper addition on the matrix structure in castings of varying thickness. The melt charge consisted of 50 kg pig iron. Then.51n/W (Jan 20 2003) 000 8/6/12 12:56:28 . Behaviour and properties of iron castings with varying thickness ONLINE COLOUR ONLY ONLINE COLOUR ONLY 1 Design of step casting with thermocouple tip location in top view will segregate. microstructure analysis (optical and scanning electron microscopy) and thermal analysis in a ductile iron production foundry. Interlamellar spacing in pearlite matrix also affects the overall hardness of castings. The distribution of graphite nodules decides the least energy propagation path for the crack.

Shinde et al. 81?3%.43 2. which are influenced by the matrix microstructure.005 … 0.45 0.51n/W (Jan 20 2003) 2012 VOL 000 NO 000 3 . with R2 ~0:939 Nodularity (%)~100:15{0:33t{7:45x.191 0.0154 0. B. The mechanical properties obtained in different sections of casting poured with different compositions. The fracture studies indicate decreasing dimples and increasing river Table 1 Details of furnace charge mix along with spectroscopic analysis Charge materials Amount Size/shape C Si Mn P S Mg Ca Al Ba Pig iron Foundry returns Steel scrap Fe–Si–Mg alloy Inoculant 50 kg 100 kg 150 kg 400 g/ladle 3.0163 International Journal of Cast Metals Research International Journal of Cast Metals Research ijc1158.82 … … … … 1. whereas tensile strength varied up to 25%.18 0.21 0.50 73.5 mm were neglected. C and D. Hence.034 0. material and pouring parameters).135 … … 0. 5.010 0.0121 0. 3 and 4) for each composition (A.058 0. hardness and elongation values varied by 5%. The average values of tensile strength and hardness are plotted for each thickness and composition value in Fig.3d 8/6/12 12:56:33 The Charlesworth Group. mechanical properties.004 … … … 5. In the repetitive experiments. with R2 ~0:946: A SEM study of tensile fractured specimens was carried out using a Hitachi-S 3400N system.0194 0. are shown in Table 4. Mo. 2.045 0. 94%.0?002 and Pb.52 0.377 0.147 0. C53?66% and Si52?45%.050 0. Ti50?02.0?01. In all these melts.125 0. 4. so as to maintain a hypereutectic range. nodularity. with R2~0:963: The tensile specimens were prepared from each step of the castings and tested as per ASTM standard E-8M-04. with R2 ~0:975 Elongation (%)~13:18z0:07t{15:74x. 8. Cr50?016.0050 0.0138 0. The relationships are as follows Tensile strength (MPa)~460:53{3:78tz292:05x.0068 0.0123 0.038 … … 1.92 1. finely polished and analysed using image analysis software (Pro-metal-11) for nodule count.06 … … … … 2. and pearlite. The highest values were observed for castings with composition D in sections with 4 mm wall thickness: nodule count.042 0. Ni. nodules . The cooling rate is affected by the section modulus and rate of heat removal (this in turn depends on mould geometry. The effect of composition (Cu content) on the microstructure is seen in the microphotographs (Fig.68 0.27 3. ONLINE COLOUR ONLY 3 Locations of microstructure (M) and tensile (T) specimen prepared from step castings copper from 0?058 to 0?735% are labelled A.032 0.0085 0. Statistical analysis was carried out to correlate the effect of wall thickness t and copper content x on the microstructure of ductile iron castings. for the four repetitive experiments. nodularity and percentage of ferrite and pearlite content. The samples for microstructure analysis were taken from the middle portion of the same castings.035 0. The tensile test specimens were prepared from each of the four sections of the castings (those without thermocouple) with compositions A. While processing the microstructure images by image analysis system.026 0. The microstructure characterisation revealed carbide free regions in all the sections. Optical microphotographs of the midsection of 12 mm thick sections were taken using a Leitz microscope are shown in Fig.0?002. Similarly. giving a carbon equivalent of 4?48.0179 0. The as cast matrix consists of ferritic and pearlitic phases. exhibit a wide variation in different sections of the same casting. with R2 ~0:909 Hardness (HB)~199:17{1:96tz105:96x.0101 0.23 0.48 2.19 … … … 0. 323.67 3.64 3. 4). These samples were further etched with 2% nital (2% concentric nitric acid and 98% ethyl alcohol) for phase analysis. 12 and 16 mm) for four Behaviour and properties of iron castings with varying thickness repetitive castings (1.735 0.015 … 0.66 3. which are directly affected by the alloy content and cooling rate.66 2.0187 0. Other elements present in the melt were Al50?006.198 0.01 Table 2 Spectroscopic analysis of the ductile iron melts labelled A–D Melt C Si Mn P S Cu Mg Al Cr A B C D 3.0184 0. C and D as per ASTM standard E-8M-04 (Fig.5 kg Briquettes … Punching 10–15 mm 2–6 mm 4.0183 0.56 2. the average values of nodule count and percentage pearlite for each thickness and composition values are plotted in Fig. Wakefield +44(0)1924 369598 - Rev 7. B.037 47. B. The results are shown for the four thickness values (4. The corresponding microstructural image analysis of the castings is given in Table 3.028 0. 6a and b. Results The matrix microstructure in ductile iron is the product of austenite decomposition. C and D).199 0.0070 0. 3). The hardness was measured on the middle portion of each section. .47 2. The relationships are given here Pearlite (%)~20:80{0:67 tz95:99x.194 0. with R2 ~0:751 Nodule count~485:66{10:46t{207:10x. Statistical analysis was carried out to correlate the effect of wall thickness t and copper content x on the mechanical properties of ductile iron castings.0054 0.

Behaviour and properties of iron castings with varying thickness ONLINE COLOUR ONLY 4 Microphotographs of 12 mm section of castings with composition A.3d The Charlesworth Group. .51n/W (Jan 20 2003) 000 8/6/12 12:56:35 . whereas A-E to D-E are etched with 2% nital) 4 International Journal of Cast Metals Research 2012 VOL 000 NO International Journal of Cast Metals Research ijc1158. C and D (A–D are unetched. Wakefield +44(0)1924 369598 - Rev 7.Shinde et al. B.

9 339 334 342 328 235.4 93.6 000 NO 000 5 .4 0.8 7.6 92.4 7.5 12 10 9 9 10.03 9.7 99.8 92.4 231 221 218 227 224.1 0.23 10.7 94.3 95.8 6.8 92.6 94.3 8.6 90.8 95.9 95.4 243 225 247 221 234.67 6.26 3.45 9. which starts by the formation and coalescence of voids.8 12.0 90.84 3.4 7.6 8.4 669 669 647 648 658.2 13.46 15.9 253 245 249 246 248.36 10. 7d). Two different fracture patterns are observed in a ferritic– pearlitic matrix structure as shown in Fig.5 1.86 9.48 7.18 2.4 10.5 99.1 95.77 14.9 189 180 188 178 183.2 458 472 442 455 456.4 0.4 94.5 61 63 58 59 60. On the other hand.19 2.7 0.28 2.7 94. This result confirms the high ductility observed in these castings.4 24 23 21 20 22.9 0.48 7.8 2.1 7.0 1.7 209 212 198 196 203.9 618 602 612 609 610.38 14.9 94.4 0.2 0.3 1.9 96.1 0.4 79 80 82 82 80.8 97.8 12.3d 8/6/12 12:56:55 The Charlesworth Group.3 1.7 10 10.8 10.8 23.0 9.3 12.6 98.53 7.9 7.8 3.2 98. Mixed mode of failure is observed in ferrite–pearlitic matrix (Fig.4 89.0 12. the fracture occurs in a ductile manner.3 583 594 565 574 579. In the vicinity of the graphite nodules.9 4.2 3.87 15.3 8.5 0. 7).8 9.7 12.9 91.9 0.3 1.8 1.9 94.5 93.4 0.7 27 29 29 30 28.3 7. Thermal analysis is an effective tool in controlling melt quality before lines from samples A–D (Fig.1 2.4 1. Table 4 Mechanical properties of step castings Tensile strength/MPa Section thickness 4 mm 8 mm 12 mm 16 mm 4 mm 8 mm 12 mm 16 mm 4 mm 8 mm 12 mm 16 mm 12 mm A1 A2 A3 A4 Average SD B1 B2 B3 B4 Average SD C1 C2 C3 C4 Average SD D1 D2 D3 D4 Average SD 456 482 490 439 466.02 6.6 92.01 2.3 3. In ferritic ductile iron.3 12.1 8.6 90.2 93.3 1.1 Hardness/HB 14. .87 14.14 13.8 1.9 0.2 89.0 304 338 307 319 317.3 11.4 91.5 1.8 25. 7c).3 6.4 368 358 376 389 372.9 10.3 8.0 10.Shinde et al.67 6.1 3.4 4.0 182 173 186 176 179.2 0. Behaviour and properties of iron castings with varying thickness Table 3 Microstructure analysis results = Property Pearlite/% Nodularity/% Nodule count Section thickness 4 mm 8 mm 12 mm 16 mm 4 mm 8 mm 12 mm 16 mm 4 mm 8 mm 12 mm 16 mm A1 A2 A3 A4 Average SD B1 B2 B3 B4 Average SD C1 C2 C3 C4 Average SD D1 D2 D3 D4 Average SD 19 23 20 21 20.7 34 29 31 33 31.1 0.0 0.63 15. 7b and c.2 12.7 96.89 15. The cooling curve from cup analysis has unique features affected by melt processing.8 0.8 92.4 92. 7d.38 7.96 2.8 403 399 386 384 393.4 98.4 246 238 222 229 233.8 13.9 193 184 189 178 186.63 2.6 219 203 218 216 214.9 0.5 194 196 185 194 192.5 96 94.7 94.8 0.0 15.8 7.8 89.5 4.4 99.5 77 80 78 76 77.6 97.8 92.8 56 59 56 56 56.5 0.1 263 259 260 247 257.2 11.5 VOL 16 mm 10.0 12.3 1.0 7.6 278 256 258 264 264.1 11.8 13.3 7. Thus.48 14.2 643 634 651 621 637.12 9.8 326 317 309 312 316.96 7.4 91. 7a and b.7 93.0 1.4 97.93 14.3 11.3 5.0 24 26 27 24 25.3 6.2 4.9 2012 11.5 13 12 13 11 12.3 98.2 332 344 326 318 330.1 2.27 16.1 9.3 9.4 11.9 11.1 609 627 602 623 615.2 64 67 62 66 64.2 7.8 10.2 7.7 Elongation/% 427 383 432 389 407.26 14.8 95.2 88.4 0.0 15.5 3.9 94.2 198 187 185 197 191.3 0.81 2. Failure of pearlite was driven by transcrystalline continuous cleavage with river drawing on facets along with crack path traverse (Fig.21 2.37 2.6 93.1 473 459 465 454 462.0 0.2 14.0 6.4 94.2 93.59 10. dimple pattern of fractures is operative.6 11.3 2.4 4. the wider areas of the ferrite phase are deformed considerably.3 6.4 98.2 10. Wakefield +44(0)1924 369598 - Rev 7.04 10.6 99.94 9.5 502 479 483 483 486.4 11.5 0.3 7.8 2.7 94.3 17 19 18 15 17.8 5.4 0.1 4.43 10.51n/W (Jan 20 2003) < Impact energy/J Property 182 178 167 170 174.3 9.3 96. 7a.6 0.6 97.38 10.35 7.0 9.45 7. as shown in Fig.3 11.6 91.5 10.7 4.4 418 458 448 413 434.3 60 67 61 60 62.3 1.6 90.6 95.9 189 193 178 189 187.3 93.0 7.21 10.67 9.9 95.78 10.59 15.9 428 398 424 402 413.86 3.4 253 238 243 235 242.3 22.2 81 83 80 81 81.0 3.1 328 311 326 328 323.2 95.7 0.3 98.26 15.5 0.0 11.3 95.3 9.9 159 184 157 169 167.0 9.32 7.5 336 349 352 328 341.84 10.1 0.8 7.3 8.3 brittle fracture with river pattern in pearlitic areas is observed in Fig.1 8.8 0.89 2. Failure of ferrite matrix occurs from intercrystalline cleavage over transcrystalline cleavage with river drawing on facets as seen in Fig.6 90.86 3.3 12.4 0.3 11.3 0.36 7.95 9.7 91.87 3.2 98.2 94.4 93.32 7.86 6.9 11.24 7.8 6.4 11.6 3.85 6.4 374 367 358 354 363.2 546 561 542 548 549.4 324 318 304 307 313.8 11.3 536 541 536 514 531.5 International Journal of Cast Metals Research International Journal of Cast Metals Research ijc1158.6 94.0 261 276 282 252 267.8 8.64 2.3 5.6 91.2 382 379 394 392 386.9 249 258 251 231 247.3 8.1 0.3 7.8 536 516 531 538 530.8 92.3 473 462 452 466 463.0 0.7 97.8 1.9 91 90.7 458 442 431 452 445.03 15.8 1.9 0.3 4.0 0.3 12.2 81 78 80 78 79.6 0.3 96.2 89.38 14.4 6.8 99.8 1. It indicates that ferrite deforms in large extent before the onset of fracture.3 93.8 11.7 194 189 218 204 201.9 97.

Behaviour and properties of iron castings with varying thickness ONLINE COLOUR ONLY ONLINE COLOUR ONLY 6 5 Variations in a tensile strength and b hardness with respect to casting section thickness in ductile iron step castings with compositions A–D 6 Variations in a amount of pearlite phase and b nodule count with varying amount of copper additions in castings A–D pouring in ductile iron castings. . undercooling minima U1.135 s) in 0?147%Cu melt. The flat eutectoid region is small (. indicating a decrease in the eutectic graphite nucleation. The undercooling (U1–U2) tendency of the melt decreases with increase in copper content for a set of composition and inoculation conditions. Initial perturbations in temperature readings are on account of flow of molten metal past the thermocouples. 8b. Wakefield +44(0)1924 369598 - Rev 7. The EOF due to presence of trace elements goes beyond the eutectic. copper addition and inoculation on cooling curves respectively (Fig. undercooling maxima U2. The increasing copper content showed increase in the pre-eutectic graphite nucleation whereas minimising the eutectic region (1143uC) and widening the flat eutectoid region (within the temperature range of 712–738uC) in cooling curves.Shinde et al.3d The Charlesworth Group. The eutectoid reaction shows a reverse trend with increasing Cu content. whereas it is compressed (. The downward shifting of International Journal of Cast Metals Research 2012 VOL 000 NO International Journal of Cast Metals Research ijc1158. Five distinct points can be visualised: liquidus arrest temperature Tliq. The thermocouples are placed at the centre of each section in casting. Figure 9 shows the cooling curves of cup castings covering the eutectoid reaction in ductile irons with varying copper additions. The analysis of pearlitic ductile iron (Fig.75 s) in 0?735%Cu. indicating appropriate balance of inoculation treatment and copper addition in the melt. 10d–f zooms into the eutectoid reaction with increase in copper content. Further cup analyses show effects of magnesium treatment.51n/W (Jan 20 2003) 000 8/6/12 12:56:57 . give a stable reading of temperatures as the metal cools and solidify. The melt is depleted with carbon as the graphite nodules grow in size. Two types of thermal analysis were carried out in this study. The graphs represent the temperature values only after the mould is completely filled and metal starts cooling. indicating increase in amount of pearlitic nucleation. after Cu addition and after inoculation) into a thermal analysis cups (Suyash. c and d). Pune) equipped with a thermocouple and generating the corresponding cooling curves (Fig. 11. after Mg treatment. and Fig.240 s) in 0?735%Cu. The thermal data produced by K type thermocouples inserted in the four-step castings were further processed to generate the cooling curve for different sections. With Cu additions in the ductile iron. which must be controlled to avoid grain boundary carbides. widening of the pre-eutectic range and undercooling of 5uC (U1 and U2) were observed. 8d) shows wider pre-eutectic region without undercooling (DT5U1–U250). The second set of results was obtained from the thermocouples inserted in each step of the castings. 8). Figure 10a–c shows the magnified view of solidification region. the eutectic temperature Teut and end of freezing (EOF). 8a) shows a flat wide region without undercooling. and the cooling curve in the 4 mm section is shown in Fig. The cooling curve analysis of the base metal in tellurium cup (Fig.150 s) in 0?147%Cu melt and wider (. The first involved pouring the melt at different stages of its treatment (base iron. The flat eutectic region is wide apart (.

51n/W (Jan 20 2003) 2012 VOL 000 NO 000 7 .Shinde et al. Wakefield +44(0)1924 369598 - Rev 7. Behaviour and properties of iron castings with varying thickness 7 Image (SEM) showing fractured surface of tensile specimen for melts A–D ONLINE COLOUR ONLY 8 Thermal analysis of cups poured during different stages of ductile iron melt processing International Journal of Cast Metals Research International Journal of Cast Metals Research ijc1158. .3d 8/6/12 12:57:12 The Charlesworth Group.

51n/W (Jan 20 2003) 000 8/6/12 12:57:33 .Shinde et al. compared to slower cooling sections for the same magnesium residuals. manganese stabilises the pearlite but also promotes carbides and is therefore restricted to . . 11. Proper inoculation is found to be an effective way of controlling microstructure by minimising undercooling and increasing the number of graphite nodules during ductile iron solidification (Fig. Discussion Copper and manganese both promote pearlite and need to be closely controlled to achieve the desired mechanical properties in ductile iron castings. Still. small variations are observed in the cooling curves of melts A to D. Wakefield +44(0)1924 369598 - Rev 7. Behaviour and properties of iron castings with varying thickness ONLINE COLOUR ONLY ONLINE COLOUR ONLY 11 Cooling curves at centre of ductile iron castings with 4–16 mm thickness 9 Cooling curves of ductile iron cup castings with varying copper concentrations To maintain consistency in inoculation. all melting trials have been carried out in a single day with the same set-up conditions. The eutectoid reaction is also observed at lower temperatures within the same casting with decrease in wall thickness as seen in Fig. ONLINE COLOUR ONLY 10 a–c variations in solidification and d–f eutectoid transformation regions in cooling curves of ductile iron castings with varying copper concentrations 8 International Journal of Cast Metals Research 2012 VOL 000 NO International Journal of Cast Metals Research ijc1158. Higher cooling rates in thin walls result in a more spheroidal nodule shape. Both nodule count and nodularity are affected by the cooling rate and are found to be on the higher side in thin sections as the eutectic reaction is observed with decreasing casting thickness. Barium based stream inoculation (2– 4 mm size) is used to provide sufficient nucleation centres for proper graphite precipitation.0?2% in the current investigation. While the effect of copper is to increase the amount of pearlite.3d The Charlesworth Group. 8). which is due to high cooling rates.

Copper content (from 0?147 to 0?735%) is reflected in the cooling curve in terms of widening of the eutectoid transformation region from 150 to 240 s and reduction in overall solidification time from 135 to 75 s respectively. The ultimate tensile strength (UTS) in the 4 mm thick section increases from 467 to 658 MPa due to the increase in pearlite level. Zero undercooling indicates adequate inoculation for a given composition and section thickness. A. can exhibit sudden failure with unexpected loading (Table 4). Ductile iron with ferritic matrix showed 10?3 J fracture energy. Cleavage occurred along the planes of the pearlite lamellae. Pune. Mixed mode of failure is observed in ferrite–pearlitic matrix. The flat regions at 1147uC in cooling curve indicate the eutectic reaction. 2. giving rise to bimodal distribution of graphite nodules (Fig. Ichalkaranji for supporting the melting trials. It is worth mentioning here that the difference in the impact toughness among the normal ductile iron having thinner or no ferrite ring may be due to the capability of thick ferrite ring to absorb energy through plastic deformation. Addition of copper in ductile iron favours nucleation of adequate primary eutectic graphite nucleation but decreases overall nodule count. Distribution of graphite nodules appears to be the deciding factor for the least energy propagation path for crack propagation. the fracture path propagates around the graphite spheroids. whereas the eutectoid start and end points are extended (wide apart). leaving them intact in their cavities. N. 9). Hawk: AFS Trans. The cooling curve analysis showed increasing values of solidification time with thickness. 7b and c). Generally. A zero undercooling value indicates adequate processing of the melt with the desired combination of nodule count and nodularity (Fig. Nodule count decreases with increase in casting thickness (4–16 mm) and increases with copper addition up to 0?74%. The fracture path in ductile irons is controlled by nodule decohesion initially and microcracking at the graphite/matrix interface. the fracture travels along a path that connects as many graphite spheroids as possible by avoiding the pearlitic structure. The decrease in the graphite eutectic temperature is well correlated with a reduction in nodule count. Undercooling correlates with increase in copper content of the melt. Ferritic ductile iron shows dimple pattern of fracture.. On the other hand.S. which in turn is affected by section thickness of the casting and chemical composition of the melt.). whereas brittle fracture with river pattern is seen in pearlitic areas. 5. The solidification process will start by nucleation of the pre-eutectic austenite in the hypoeutectic whereas graphite in case of the hypereutectic compositions (TLiq. . Schrems and J. A significant observation is the unique behaviour of the graphite nodules and its contribution to the fracture process. 8d). The increasing copper content showed a decrease in the eutectic region (Fig. O. helped in the thermal analysis. Ductile iron with ferritic matrix showed UTS5 467 MPa. which is responsible for peak toughness in ductile irons. Ichalkaranji and S.51n/W (Jan 20 2003) 2012 VOL 000 NO 000 9 . Suyash Enterprises. The effectiveness of additions into the melts is reflected in the cooling curves. Increasing copper content up to 0?74% increased the pearlite in the matrix to 80% with corresponding increase in UTS to 658 MPa and hardness to 264 HB. Zero undercooling indicates adequate inoculation for a given composition and section thickness. This indicates that a thick ferrite ring in a pearlitic microstructure will produce a ductile iron with optimum balance of strength and ductility. 4b–d). Proper melt processing (barium based stream inoculation) with 0?74%Cu enabled achieving 80% pearlitic matrix and 328 nodule count with 94% nodularity in 4 mm thin sections. International Journal of Cast Metals Research International Journal of Cast Metals Research ijc1158. with ductility reduced to 2?5% in 4 mm thin sections. whereas 80% pearlite gave 4?2 J fracture energy in 12 mm thick sections at room temperature. The composition and process parameters can be monitored by pouring sample cups before pouring the metal actually into the moulds. ductility514?3% and hardness5192 HB. Dogan. The amount and type of inoculation decide the actual degree of undercooling for set of casting geometry and melting practice. Conclusions The properties of experimental ductile iron castings poured in an industrial foundry as indicated by their grades are largely determined by their microstructure. The cooling curves of ductile iron cup castings showed compressed eutectic zones with increasing copper concentrations. fully pearlitic ductile iron. 1. The smooth and wider austenite to pearlite transformation at the eutectoid temperature shows an increase in tensile strength and hardness (Fig. In ductile irons with ferritic–pearlitic matrix structure (Fig. The feedback of the reviewer(s) greatly helped in improving the paper. 10a–c).The preeutectic graphite nodules grow initially followed by nucleation of the eutectic graphite. a material with low ductility (2?5%). Wakefield +44(0)1924 369598 - Rev 7. 3. and widening of the eutectoid regions (Fig. 6). The melt is depleted with carbon as the graphite nodules grow in size. as expected. compared to thicker sections (Table 3. 949–959. The EOF due to presence of trace elements goes beyond the eutectic. K. A complex pattern of fracture reflecting a low energy is delineated in Fig. References 1. The fracture surface consists of many cleaved facets indicating the low ductility by this material. 111.Shinde et al. The main conclusions can be summarised as follows.3d 8/6/12 12:57:45 The Charlesworth Group. 7. Acknowledgements Authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Ganesh Foundry. 10d–f) is observed in zoomed Behaviour and properties of iron castings with varying thickness portions of the cooling curves. some amount of undercooling is needed to nucleate the austenite dendrites and graphite nodules. 4. Fig. which will grow freely in the melt. The high ductility (14?9%) due to ferritic matrix indicates the ability of this material to allow considerable deformation to occur before fracture takes place. The cooling curves obtained by thermocouples in different sections of experimental castings show compressed zones of solidification and the eutectoid region with decreasing values of casting thickness (Fig. 2003. 5). 7d. However. which must be controlled within limits to avoid grain boundary carbides. 6. The thermal analysis was found to be an effective tool for evaluating and controlling the melt quality before pouring in ductile iron castings. K. Industries.

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Wakefield +44(0)1924 369598 - Rev 7.51n/W (Jan 20 2003) 8/6/12 12:57:46 . 12. 4 Please confirm additional information in Ref.Authors Queries Journal: International Journal of Cast Metals Research Paper: 1158 Title: Solidification behaviour and mechanical properties of ductile iron castings with varying thickness Dear Author During the preparation of your manuscript for publication. International Journal of Cast Metals Research ijc1158. 5 Please confirm additional information in Ref. 3 This sentence has been altered slightly for clarity. Many thanks for your assistance Query Reference Query Remarks 1 Please confirm the running head is correct. Please check that the amendments are correct and retain your intended meaning. Please attend to these matters and return this form with your proof. the questions listed below have arisen. 6. 2 Please confirm the change.3d The Charlesworth Group.