The Effect of Austenitization Temperature on the Microstructure, Bend Properties, and Hardness of a Chrome-Bearing White Cast Iron

dc.contributor.authorAdelmann, Joshua Thomasen
dc.contributor.committeechairDruschitz, Alan P.en
dc.contributor.committeememberReynolds, William T.en
dc.contributor.committeememberMurayama, Mitsuhiroen
dc.contributor.departmentMaterials Science and Engineeringen
dc.description.abstractThe goal of this line of research is to add to the existing body of literature on the effect of heat treatments on the microstructure of chrome-bearing white irons and add bend test data to the literature concerning chrome-bearing white irons. This project was intended to support an existing line of research into cast metal-ceramic lattices using chrome white iron as a substitute for sintered ceramic tiles used to defeat projectiles. Chrome-bearing white irons have a substantial quantity of chromium carbides, giving them high hardness and abrasion resistance. Additionally, tiles cast from white iron proved to be more durable than sintered ceramic tiles, breaking into large chunks rather than a powder following an impact. These properties make tiles cast from chrome-bearing white iron a low-cost alternative to sintered carbides. The alloy investigated contained nominally 14 chromium and 3.2 carbon by weight percent. Three-point bend test specimens were cut from cast plates. These specimens were austenitized, air cooled, then tempered prior to three-point bend and hardness testing. The microstructure of the specimens was evaluated using optical microscopy, SEM, and XRD. This line of research revealed that lower austenitization temperatures resulted in a martensitic matrix with fewer, smaller secondary carbides, resulting in higher strength and hardness. In contrast, higher austenitization temperatures produced an austenitic matrix with coarser carbides, resulting in lower strength and hardness. This research did not reveal an appreciable change in ductility over heat treatment temperature.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralThis research investigates a hard iron alloy capable of replacing expensive ceramics in situations where the goal is to prevent penetration by a projectile. This iron alloy, known as white cast iron, can be cast using typical foundry practices, making it cost-effective. Additionally, the properties can be changed by heat-treatment, a process that involves heating the material to a given temperature, holding it at that temperature for a given amount of time, then cooling the material at a given rate. The results of this research add to the existing understanding of how heat treatment affects the properties of white cast iron. Additionally, this research generated new data about the strength of white cast irons in a three-point bending test, a test not normally used for white cast irons. The research found that high heat-treatment temperatures resulted in a softer white cast iron with lower strength. The structure of the white cast iron treated at these temperatures was predominantly austenite, a soft iron phase, and large carbides, a hard but brittle phase. Temperatures close to the lower end of the temperature range tested resulted in a harder white cast iron with higher strength. The structure of the iron in these conditions contained martensite, a hard iron phase, some austenite, and smaller but more angular carbides.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectThree-Point Bend Testingen
dc.subjectWhite Cast Ironen
dc.titleThe Effect of Austenitization Temperature on the Microstructure, Bend Properties, and Hardness of a Chrome-Bearing White Cast Ironen
dc.typeThesisen Science and Engineeringen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Scienceen


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