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Materials 1 Chapter 5: Diffusion

ME 1015

Prepared by: Dr. Se Yong Email:

Materials 1
Form of Assessment:
Final Examination 50% Assignments 30% Test 20%

Text Book:
Askeland, D.R. & Phule, P.P. (2005). The Science & Engineering of Materials, 5th Ed. Thomson.

Callister, W.D. (2007). Materials Science & Engineering An Introduction, 7th Ed. John Wiley & Sons 2

Course Content
Chapter Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Topics Introduction to Materials Atomic Structure & Interatomic Bonding Crystalline Solid Structure Lecture Week# 1 1 1-2

Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11

Imperfection in Solids Diffusion Mechanical Properties of Metals Strengthening Mechanism Failure in Materials Ceramics Polymer Composite

2-3 3 4 4-5 5-6 6 7 7


Diffusion is a net flux (movement) of atoms or ions within a material, caused by temperature and concentration gradient. Ficks laws describe the diffusion process quantitatively. Ficks First Law defines the relationship between flux of diffusing atoms and the concentration gradient. Ficks Second Law describes the variation of concentration of diffusing species under nonsteady state diffusion conditions. 4


Diffusion FASTER for...
open crystal structures lower melting T materials materials w/secondary bonding smaller diffusing atoms cations lower density materials

Diffusion SLOWER for...

close-packed structures higher melting T materials materials w/covalent bonding larger diffusing atoms anions higher density materials

1. The number of vacancies in a material is related to temperature by an Arrhenius equation. If the fraction of lattice points containing vacancies is 8 x 10-5 at 600oC, determine the fraction at 1000oC. *Q = 16, 364 cal/mol

2. The diffusion coefficient for Cr3+ in Cr2O3 is 6 x 10-15 cm2/s at 727oC and is 1 x 10-9 cm2/s at 1400oC. Calculate (a) the activation energy and (b) the constant Do.

3. A 0.0025 cm BCC iron foil is used to separate a high hydrogen gas from a low hydrogen gas at 650oC. 5 x 108 H atoms/cm3 are in equilibrium with the hot side of the foil, while 2 x 103 H atoms/cm3 are in equilibrium with the flux of hydrogen through the foil. *Do = 0.0012, Q = 3600cal/mol

4. Briefly explain the difference between self-diffusion and interdiffusion.
Self-diffusion is atomic migration in pure metalsi.e., when all atoms exchanging positions are of the same type. Interdiffusion is diffusion of atoms of one metal into another metal.


Compare interstitial and vacancy atomic mechanisms for diffusion.

(a) With vacancy diffusion, atomic motion is from one lattice site to an adjacent vacancy. Selfdiffusion and the diffusion of substitutional impurities proceed via this mechanism. On the other hand, atomic motion is from interstitial site to adjacent interstitial site for the interstitial diffusion mechanism.


Cite two reasons why interstitial diffusion is normally more rapid than vacancy diffusion.
(b) Interstitial diffusion is normally more rapid than vacancy diffusion because: (1) interstitial atoms, being smaller, are more mobile; and (2) the probability of an empty adjacent interstitial site is greater than for a vacancy adjacent to a host (or substitutional impurity) atom. 9

7. An FCC ironcarbon alloy initially containing 0.35 wt% C is exposed to an oxygen-rich and virtually carbon-free atmosphere at 1400 K (1127C). Under these circumstances the carbon diffuses from the alloy and reacts at the surface with the oxygen in the atmosphere; that is, the carbon concentration at the surface position is maintained essentially at 0 wt% C. (This process of carbon depletion is termed decarburization.) At what position will the carbon concentration be 0.15 wt% after a 10-h treatment? The value of D at 1400 K is 6.9 1011 m2/s.


8. A 4cm diameter, 0.5 mm thick spherical container made of BCC iron holds nitrogen at 700oC. The concentration at the inner surface is 0.05 atomic percent ant at the outer surface is 0.002 atomic percent. Calculate the number of grams of nitrogen that are lost from the container per hour.