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Key Engineering Materials Vol.

660 (2015) pp 97-102 Submitted: 2015-05-12


(2015) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland Accepted: 2015-05-20
doi:10.4028/www.scientific.net/KEM.660.97 Online: 2015-08-26

Preliminary Results on Microstructural, Chemical and Wear Analyze of


New Cast Iron with Chromium Addition
Costel Florea1,a, Costic Bejinariu1, b, Ioan Carcea1, c, Viorel Paleu1, d,
Daniela Chicet1, e and Nicanor Cimpoeu1, f
1
Technical University Gh. Asachi, Bd. Dimitrie Mangeron 67, 700050 Iai, Romania
a
scdomighiansrl@yahoo.com, bcostica.bejinariu@yahoo.com, cioan.carcea@yahoo.com,
d
vpaleu@yahoo.com, edaniela_chicet@yahoo.com; f*nicanornick@yahoo.com

Keywords: cast iron, wear, friction coefficient.

Abstract. A new cast-iron material was obtained by melting in an induction furnace. The material
was microstructural and chemical characterized before and after a wear test. We analyze the
chemical composition of the material at macro-scale using a Spark Spectrometer and at micro-scale
using Dispersive Energy Spectrometer. Microstructure before and after the external solicitations
was observed using a Scanning Electron Microscope. We also evaluate the influence of external
force on the dendrites microstructural and chemical modification.

Introduction
High chromium cast iron (HCCI) is a material known as excellent wear resistant materials and
has been widely used for wear affected pieces operated under extreme conditions. The exceptional
wear resistance of high Cr cast-iron results primarily from the rich fraction of hard carbides type
M7C3 were M=Fe, Cr compounds that helps to prevent the formation of graphite and stabilize the
carbides [1].
The friction between two dry in contact surfaces that are sliding each other is known as Coulomb
friction and despite its everyday nature the friction forces involved can usually only be estimated
from previous experience and experimental results. In case of friction brakes for any kind of
vehicles that use braking systems the surfaces in sliding contact are often coated with different
solutions as transfer films and result a sliding process so that the surfaces in contact are not just the
bare metal or friction material. Metal surface will have its surface disturbed by abrasion, adhesion
or deformation during sliding to create metal fragments and other particles [2]. Any friction metallic
surface even if it appears to be geometrically smooth is rough at the microscopic scale with a
distribution of asperities across it. One explanation of the genesis of friction is the interaction of
microscopic asperities on the two surfaces, but when two such surfaces are forced together it is very
difficult to say where and how contact between them occurs. Different model systems have been
studied and analyze were the materials and them surfaces were scientifically controlled in the
expectation that once the friction of such systems can be understood than more and more
complicated systems could be examined [3].
During braking the pad material and the disk material are submitted to severe solicitation which
is affected strongly by the microstructure of the material according to nature of involved
constituents. Changes on the tribological and mechanical behaviors widely depend on the nature
and size of metallic compounds which are usually very complex. The scientific understanding of
friction has benefited from such research but the extremely complicated nature of braking friction,
involving high energy, high temperature, high speed and high pressure, conduct to an inexact
science that relies upon specialist knowledge and understanding. Even from an engineering point of
view a constant coefficient of friction between two sliding metallic parts seems a reasonable
assumption, in working with friction brakes it is vital to understand that the coefficient of friction is
most likely to be variable, and also it is helpful to understand why [4, 5].
There are few reasons why the braking performance of a road vehicle may change over time, and
any deterioration would be recognized by the driver as a reduction in the perceived rate of braking

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98 Innovative Materials and Engineering Research

for the same pedal effort on a hydraulically actuated system. On a commercial vehicle with
pneumatic brake actuation, the driver is more likely to notice an increase in stopping distance for
the same pedal operation [6-8]. Changes in the braking performance over time may be caused by an
increase in threshold forces, perhaps also associated with a decrease in actuation efficiency, caused
by ageing and contamination of seals, and corrosion and contamination at interfaces such as disc
brake pad, drum brake shoe pivots and mechanical actuators [9-12]. Changes in braking
performance are often attributed to the friction material the coefficient of friction between a friction
material and a rotor does vary, especially with respect to temperature, but most modern resin-
bonded composite friction materials demonstrate fairly consistent performance in operation unless
duty levels and the associated operating temperatures are high for a significant proportion of the
vehicle usage [13].
In this article we analyze a new metallic alloy with high chromium content and the surface
behavior of this material after a wear test realized in laboratory with different rates. For surface
analyze we use the scanning electron microscope and EDS equipments. Preliminary results on
microstructural and chemical behavior under mechanical external solicitations are presented and
comment. We try to determine the surface modification by abrasion, adhesion or deformation
during sliding process that create metal fragments and other particles.

Experimental procedure
New cast-iron with chromium content was obtain at S.C. RANCON SRL Iai, using an induction
furnace and melted in forms made from resigns binders KALHARTZ 8500 and HARTER hardener.
The standard AMSLER machine was used to experiment a semi-dry wear test of a classical
brake disk material and a new cast-iron material with high chromium content. Each carried out test
lasted 15 minutes. A constant load of 18N was applied on disk and sample contact, the speed
remaining also constant during a test, three tests being developed for each sample, at: 50, 100 and
250 rpm in order to evaluate the surface response at external solicitations. In this paper we present
some experimental results taken from the sample affected with the middle rate of 100 rpm and
remain on a future work to evaluate the other effects on the material. The new cast-iron obtained
was analyzed by chemical investigations and microstructure using an EDAX (Bruker X-flash
detector) equipment and also a spark spectrometer Foundry Master and SEM (VegaTescan LMH II,
SE detector, 30 kV ). After the experimental abrasion of the metallic materials the surface was
analyzed by SEM equipment in order to evaluate the surface state and the effects of the braking
system on the material [14, 15].

Results and discussions

After we obtain the cast iron with higher chromium content we analyze few material
characteristics like chemical composition, microstructure and microstructure behavior under wear
solicitation.

Chemical analysis. Chemical composition of the new material was determined through spark
spectroscopy and the average results after 3 determinations (on surfaces of ~4 mm2 area each) are
presented in table 1. From the chemical composition result, table 1, we observe few other chemical
elements in the alloy beside Fe, Cr, Si and C, which are the main elements, like Mo, Ni and Mn that
appear from the raw materials used at melting, impurities or equipment error.
After mechanical grinding and chemical atack, nital, we analyze through EDS detector the
constituent phases that appear. Microstructural can be observed three distinctive areas, fig. 1 a), and
the marked areas with 1-3 (90 nm spot) were chemically investigated and the compositions
presented in table 2. Manganese element, identified on the large area chemical analyze, table 1, is
presented only in few points on the surface like is shown in fig. 1 b) for Mn distribution on the
surface.
Key Engineering Materials Vol. 660 99

Table 1. Chemical composition of experimental cast iron material.

Analyze type %C %Si % Mn %P %S %Cr %Mo %Ni %Cu

Spark
2.64 1.11 0.66 0.03 0.056 20.9 0.11 0.16 0.1
spectroscopy

Fig. 1. Cast-iron alloy micrography a) micro-areas selected for chemical compositions,


b) chemical distribution of elements Fe, Cr, Mn, Si, C and O.

In table 2 we have the chemical composition of the new alloy constituents realized in marked
areas from fig. 1 a). Point 1 represents the matrix of the material that consists especially of iron,
chromium, silicon and carbon. We have a lower Cr percentage in the matrix and a higher C
percentage.
The second constituent, point 2, is a phase based on Cr-Fe with dendrite aspect and a higher
content of Cr and no Si on this compound. Also from table 2 can be observed a slight oxidation of
the Cr-based compound identified by the presence of a small percentage of oxygen.
Table 2. Chemical analyze on new alloy constituents, mass and atomic percentages (wt% and at%).
Area Fe Cr C Si O
(Fig. 1 a)) wt% at% wt% at% wt% at% wt% at% wt% at%
Point 1 76.9 63.5 16.9 14.8 5.1 19.6 1.2 1.9 - -
Point 2 39.7 32.7 55.3 48.9 4.03 15.4 - - 1 3
Point 3 74.1 64.9 21.5 20.3 2.5 10 0.9 1.6 1.1 3.2
EDS
1.8 0.5 0.8 0.1 0.6
error

The third distinctive area, point 3, represent a passing area between point 1 and point 2, by
chemical point of view, which is very close to the general chemical composition obtained on the
large area of material and presented in table 1. In this case even carbon has a close percentage to the
large area analyze, table 1.

Microstructural analysis. It showed that the microstructure of the cast iron is a combination of
martensite and small amount of retained austenite after heat treatment. However, its performance in
the crushing systems is literally relied on the presence of M7C3-type carbides distributed in the iron
based matrix [10]. The hardness of the crushers relies on the composition and microstructure of the
alloys while their abrasion resistance depends on the properties of the abrasive and service
conditions. A fully quantified analysis of the microstructure is provided in fig. 2 a), which shows
the secondary dendrite arm spacing.
100 Innovative Materials and Engineering Research

Fig. 2. SEM microscopy a) Secondary dendrite arm spacing and


b) Distribution of carbides in matrix.

From fig. 2 we observe an homogeneous surface of the metallic alloy with Cr-based dendrites
spread on the entire Fe-base matrix. Fig. 2 shows the microstructure of high chromium cast iron in
which martensite, remained austenite, M7C3 carbide and a small amount of secondary carbides were
distributed in the matrix. This demonstrates Si and high Cr had a significant effect on the secondary
dendrite arm spacing.

Wear stains analysis. In the worn area, fig. 3 a) and b) we observed a modification of the
dendrites system phase under the mechanical external solicitation. In fig. 3 a) are presented two
surfaces at the interface, one mechanically worn in the left side, and an original area on the right
side of the image.
From the SEM image we observe that the wear test applied destroy both Fe-base matrix and partial
de Cr-base dendrites, fig. 3 a) and b) and this has led to the modification of the dendrites system.
The compound based on Cr tend to destroy in an initial state by thoroughly crushing in small parts,
fig. 3 b) before the compounds to lost the entire structural integrity. Some areas loose the entire
structural integrity of the material and the material was extracted from the alloy surface indifferent
of the phase which opposes, for example the superior part of the image 3 b).

Fig. 3. SEM images of new cast-iron alloy after


mechanical worn of the surface: a) 500x and b) 2000x.

The presence of carbide in the iron matrix changed the distribution of applied stress in the matrix
owing to the different resistances of plastic and elastic deformations. As a result, it had a significant
effect on the wear performance of the matrix structure. On the mechanically affected surface we
Key Engineering Materials Vol. 660 101

select, fig. 4 a), four point for chemical analyze, first three area being similar to those selected in the
experiment on the non-affected surface and forth on a area with new compounds observed on the
surface. In the worn area, fig. 4 b), we can observe more oxidized areas especially in more affected
surfaces. We perform few chemical composition analyze on different areas, selected in fig. 4 a) and
the results presented in table 3. In this case we have to understand the influence of the external
mechanical solicitation on the microstructure and chemical composition of the material. There are
four areas in this case, three similar to base material and a new one with new compounds based on
oxygen as the distribution from image 4 b) present. In Fe-base matrix case, point 1, no major
modifications are observed. Chromium base dendrites, point 2, present a loss of iron from the
compound after this mechanical and partial thermal external solicitation.

Fig. 4. Worn cast-iron alloy a) micro-areas selected for chemical compositions and
b) Fe, Cr, Mn, Si, C and O chemical elements distribution on selected surface.

Table 3. Chemical analysis on new alloy constituents after the wear test.
Area Fe Cr C Si O
(Fig. 1 a)) wt% at% wt% at% wt% at% wt% at% wt% at%
Point 1 78,4 66,8 16,5 15,1 4,2 16,6 0,9 1,6 - -
Point 2 27,7 22,8 67 59,2 3,1 11,9 - - 2,1 6,2
Point 3 74,9 62,8 19,5 17,6 4,1 16 0,7 1,2 0,8 2,4
Point 4 56,58 41,6 31,1 24,6 4,3 14,5 1,2 1,7 6,8 17,6
EDS error 1,8 0,8 0,7 0,1 0,7

Also a reduced oxidizing of the surface is observed through appearance of a small amount of
oxygen. In the same time some Cr-base areas were more corroded and oxidized, for example point
4, were a larger amount of oxygen is registered, up to 6,8 wt% percentage compared to initial
surface. Large areas of oxides were also observed, from SEM image fig. 3 a), in the parts of the
alloy were the materials was suffering mass losses fig. 3 a) so we can appreciate that the material
loss is connected to oxidation of the surface. Silicon element is still stable like in the initial alloy
case so probably the compounds with silicon are very stable, maybe carbides, and resist to external
solicitations. The evaluation of the material response to other external solicitation conditions will be
presented in a future work.

Conclusions

In this paper we present some preliminary results on the obtaining of a new cast iron material
with high chromium content. We analyze the phases that appear on the material and the
microstructural and chemical evolution of the material after a mechanical wear test. After we worn
the surface we observe a partitioning in smaller pieces of the Cr-base dendrites under external
102 Innovative Materials and Engineering Research

solicitations and some time the disappearance of all phases on different areas. The dendrites tend to
change them form and orientation under solicitation and connect to other branches time when their
mechanical resistance increase and resist under external forces.

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Innovative Materials and Engineering Research
10.4028/www.scientific.net/KEM.660

Preliminary Results on Microstructural, Chemical and Wear Analyze of New Cast Iron with
Chromium Addition
10.4028/www.scientific.net/KEM.660.97

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[1] X.H. Tang, R. Chung, D.Y. Li, B. Hinckley, K. Dolman, Variations in microstructure of high chromium
cast irons and resultant changes in resistance to wear, corrosion and corrosive wear, Wear 267 (2009) 116-
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