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Surface & Coatings Technology 357 (2019) 651–661

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Surface & Coatings Technology


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/surfcoat

Aspects on carbides transformations of Fe-based hardfacing deposits T


a a,⁎ b b
N.G. Chaidemenopoulos , P.P. Psyllaki , E. Pavlidou , G. Vourlias
a
Laboratory of Tribology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of West Attica, 250 Thivon Avenue & P. Ralli, 122 44 Egaleo, Greece
b
Laboratory of Applied Physics, Department of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece

ARTICLE INFO ABSTRACT

Keywords: Traditional arc welding was applied to create Fe-based hardfacing deposits onto carbon steel substrates used
Hardfacing deposits on the edges of excavation equipment in a quarry plant, in order to enhance their service lifetime. Three
Flux-Cored Arc Welding electrodes of different chemical composition were used to deposit 5–6 mm-thick protective overlayers. Prior
Tungsten carbides to laboratory characterisation of the surface-hardened samples, the Thermocalc© software was used to
Chromium carbides
predict microstructure features that could be possibly present in the weld metal areas after solidification,
Niobium carbides
Thermodynamic prediction
taking into account a 10% dissolution of the base metal in the molten pool. The calculation results were
compared to the experimental findings from optical and scanning electron microscopy observations, X-ray
diffraction and microhardness measurements. The thermodynamic calculations provided an accurate pre-
diction of the phases obtained, whilst microhardness values and their distribution were found to be strongly
depended on the nature of the carbides, their interaction with the liquid metallic matrix and their dispersion
within the final solid.

1. Introduction progressively solidified. The necessary heat is commonly provided by


conventional arc welding techniques, due to the low cost of the
Hardfacing deposits are overlayers, characterised by high hard- equipment and the feedstock materials needed, as well as the lack of
ness and low wear rates that are applied on metallic parts operating requirement for highly skilled personnel. Among these techniques
under severe surface/mechanical loading. Their most common ap- [2], Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Gas Metal Arc Welding
plications are encountered in the mining industry for the protection (GMAW) and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) employ as feed-
and the lifetime increase of metallic excavation edges, drilling stock sacrificial compact rods or wires, and the required carbide
equipment, mineral crushers and soil preparation hardware [1–4]; dispersion is achieved by the formation of primary carbides during
they are targeted to either the repair/filling of surface cavities solidification. Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) employs a tubular
having occurred during service or to the development of wear re- wire filled with the reinforcing carbide powder, which is provided to
sistant surface layers. In all these cases, the working surface of the the molten Fe-based pool in the form of solid particles [5]. In addi-
metallic component is subjected to intense abrasive or sliding wear tion to arc welding, other heat sources proposed for the elaboration
and fatigue. In such applications requiring increased resistance to of hardfacing layers include plasma transferred arc (PTA) [6], laser
surface mechanical loading, what is often sought after is the creation beams [7] and more recently, concentrated solar power [8]. These
of surface composite layers consisting of a metallic matrix reinforced techniques differ from arc welding in that they all involve heat
with ceramic particles, the latter being usually carbide ones. The treatment of carbide powder layers, which are pre-deposited on the
high hardness and low wear rates of hardfacing deposits render them base metal to be surface modified.
ideal for tribosystems operating in demanding industrial environ- Depending on the exact chemical composition of the feedstock
ments. material, the obtained deposits can be classified as either of steel or of
Since the majority of the equipment above is manufactured from cast iron, -eutectic or hypereutectic,- matrix, with a dispersion of
diverse steel grades, Fe-C based materials with significant amounts of tungsten, chromium, niobium or tantalum carbides [9–16]. The
strongly carbide forming elements are the appropriate selection for hardness of these deposits, their wear resistance and the mechanisms
elaborating the desired protective hardfacing deposits. The overlayer involved were found to be related to the nature, the morphology and
material is fed in liquid state on the base metal surface, where it is the dispersion density of the reinforcing carbides. The addition of rare


Corresponding author.
E-mail address: psyllaki@puas.gr (P.P. Psyllaki).

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2018.10.061
Received 4 August 2018; Received in revised form 22 October 2018; Accepted 23 October 2018
Available online 24 October 2018
0257-8972/ © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
N.G. Chaidemenopoulos et al. Surface & Coatings Technology 357 (2019) 651–661

Table 1
Nominal chemical compositions (wt%) of the base metal and the three elec-
trodes, as provided by the supplier.
C Cr Nb W Ni Mn Si WCa Fe

Base metal: AISI 4130


0.30 1.11 – – – 0.58 0.15 – Bal.

Electrodes
A 0.8 2.2 – 1.8 0.4 1.2 50 Bal.
B 5.5 21.0 7.0 – – 1.3 Bal.
C 3.5 31.0 – – 0.22 0.85 1.1 Bal.

a
Pre-existing percentage in the flux-cored electrode.

Table 2
Hardfacing deposition parameters applied.
Electrode Current (A) Voltage (V) Preheating Feeding speed
temperature (°C) (m × min−1)

A 148 17.2 200 3.1


B 152 20.1 200 3.0
C 132 23.5 200 3.1

Table 3
Chemical composition (wt%) of the weld zone, considering 10% dilution of the
base metal, for the three hardfacing feedstocks examined.
Deposit C Cr Nb W Ni Mn Si WCa Fe

Composite 0.75 2.1 – 1.6 – 0.42 1.10 45 Bal.


Hypereutectic 4.98 19.0 6.3 – – 0.06 1.19 Bal.
Hypoeutectic 3.18 28.0 – – 0.20 0.82 1.01 Bal.

a
Pre-existing percentage in the flux-cored electrode.

Fig. 1. Composite deposit: (a) macrograph of the deposit's cross-section and (b)
in-depth microhardness distribution.
earth oxides like ceria [17] or lanthania [18] were proposed as means
of carbide refinement that resulted in improved wear performance.
Whereas it has been established that carbides other than cementite,
ameliorate the mechanical characteristics of cast irons, the complex- feedstock materials three commercially available electrodes of che-
ities and intricacies of multicomponent systems imposes difficulties in mical composition also shown in Table 1. Tubular electrode A, with an
the thermodynamic predictions and the kinetics of their formation, outer shell corresponding to a steel grade composition and flux core of
thus relevant calculations are still an issue of current research WC powder, was deposited via FCAW in inert atmosphere, providing a
[19–21]. metallic matrix composite overlayer. Electrode B, with a nominal
In the present study, arc welding was applied to create three series composition corresponding to hypereutectic cast iron, and electrode
of Fe-based hardfacing deposits onto carbon steel substrates. The mi- C, with a nominal composition corresponding to hypoeutectic cast
crostructure features obtained during solidification were identified ex- iron, were deposited via SMAW. In all cases, the electrodes diameter
perimentally and, subsequently, correlated to thermodynamic predic- was 1.6 mm and the operational parameters were those suggested by
tions. The goal was to provide a rational rather than empirical approach the electrode supplier, as summarized in Table 2. The deposition
for the selection of proper feedstock materials per selected applications, process was performed manually, with the working distance kept as
which will result in optimal carbides distribution, that in turn, will close to 50 mm as possible. In the case of SMAW, deposits with a total
ensure acceptable machinability and prolonged service lifetime. In this thickness of 5–6 mm were achieved in double passes, whilst in the case
respect, it complements previous relevant studies addressing either only of FCAW a simple pass was sufficient for elaborating deposits of the
thermodynamic prediction issues [22], or plain experimental findings same thickness.
[12,13] on the three-body abrasion wear and corrosion resistance of
similar hardfacing deposits. 2.2. Experimental techniques

2. Experimental details Macroscopic observations of the deposits obtained were carried


out using a Leica Wiltz M3Z stereoscope. The crystallographic
2.1. Electrode composition and deposition phases of the hardfacing layers were identified by X-ray diffraction
(XRD) on their top surface, after grinding of the outmost layer to
The base metal employed was of the same steel grade with that used ensure removal of any parasitic compounds, such as remaining slag
for the manufacturing of the excavation edges, namely an AISI 4130 from the shielding coating, in the cases of electrodes B and C. XRD
steel of nominal composition as shown in Table 1. Prior to deposition patterns were recorded with a Siemens D-8000 diffractometer, with
the base metal was subjected to austempering, in order to obtain bainite auto-divergent slit and graphite monochromator, using CuKa ra-
microstructure with a microhardness of 415 ± 10 HV0.3. diation and a scanning speed of 2° × min −1. Detailed microstructure
Three series of hardfacing deposits were elaborated, using as characterisation was performed on respective mounted cross-

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Fig. 2. Composite deposit. Thermodynamic calculations showing (a) the


evolution of the solidification path and (b) the composition (mol%) of the
solid upon the completion of solidification. (c) X-ray diffraction spectrum
on the top surface of the deposit, after removal of the volume above the
dashed line AA′ in Fig. 1a [1: austenite, 2: ferrite, 3: WC, 4: W2C, 5:
Fe3W3C].

sections of the deposits, after their proper metallographic prepara- together with an underlying 2-mm thick Heat Affected Zone (H.A.Z.).
tion and chemical etching (2% vol. Nital), with a Leitz “Aristomet” The microhardness values of the overlayer exhibited high fluctuation
optical microscope. Further microstructure characterisation of these between 650 and 1050 HV0.3 (Fig. 1b) that can be attributed to its
cross-sections was performed by scanning electron microscopy “ceramic particle reinforced metallic matrix” composite nature. The
(SEM) using a 20 kV JEOL 840A SEM equipped with an OXFORD H.A.Z. microhardness was practically constant around a mean value of
INCA 300 EDS analyzer and the necessary software to perform point 315 ± 10 HV0.3, lower than that measured for the bainite base metal
microanalysis, linear microanalysis and chemical mapping of the (415 ± 10 HV0.3). In order to elucidate these mechanical character-
surface under examination. Vickers microhardness measurements istics, extensive characterisation of the obtained microstructure was
were carried out on a Wolpert apparatus, applying a load of 0.3 kgf, performed in conjunction to thermodynamic simulations, as described
in order to obtain the in-depth microhardness distribution. Each previously.
microhardness value presented in this work is the average of three As observed in Fig. 2a, thermodynamics predict that solidification
measurements. starts at 1450 °C with the formation of austenite, followed by the for-
mation of primary tungsten carbide at 1245 °C. Solidification of the
3. Results and discussion liquid steel is completed at 1240 °C (Fig. 2a), where the microstructure
of the deposit is expected to be a dispersion of WC particles pre-existing
Prior to laboratory examination, thermodynamic calculations with in the core of the feedstock electrode and primary tungsten carbides
the Thermo-Calc® commercial software [23] were performed, em- within an austenite matrix (Fig. 2b). The solidification path of the liquid
ploying the “TCFE4 Steel and Fe –alloys” database, in order to esti- phase can be described by reaction (1):
mate the deposits' solidification path. The particular software in-
corporates the Scheil-Guilliver equation to describe non- or partial- L
1450°C
L + FCC
1245°C
L + FCC + WC
1240°C
FCC + WC (1)
equilibrium transformations, as in the case of solidification, which is
based on the assumptions that diffusion in the solid phase within the To evaluate the predictions above, XRD analysis was performed on a
liquid is so slow that can be ignored, whilst local equilibrium condi- surface along the dashed line AA′ shown in Fig. 1a, in a depth of ap-
tions exist anytime at the solid/liquid interface throughout the soli- proximately 1 mm from the outer surface of the deposit. The phases
dification process. Scheil simulations take into account back-diffusion detected (Fig. 2c) were austenite, ferrite, stoichiometric tungsten car-
phenomena. For the three cases examined, a percentage of 10% di- bide (WC), sub-stoichiometric tungsten carbide (W2C) and η-carbide
lution, which is a typical value for the two welding techniques ap- (Fe3W3C). Compared to the thermodynamic prediction, it can be safely
plied, was assumed; the final calculated chemical composition of the assumed that the cooling rate of the solid deposit did not allow for the
liquid to be solidified is presented in Table 3. austenite to be completely transformed; hence an amount of retained
austenite is recognised in the final solid.
3.1. Microstructure features of the composite deposit Upon completion of solidification, the chemical composition (wt
%) of the austenite was calculated as 0.65 C, 4.5 Cr, 1.2 Mn, 2.75 Si
In the case of FCAW deposits, the 6-mm thick surface layer achieved and 5.0 W, deduced from the respective thermodynamic diagrams
in a single pass was characterised by the absence of any macroscopic (Fig. 3). SEM observation on the deposit's cross-section (Fig. 4) re-
solidification flaws, i.e. pores or cracks (Fig. 1a). The distribution of the vealed a diversity of microstructure features and EDAX point micro-
reinforcing particles within the metallic matrix can be clearly observed, analysis allowed identifying the atomic percentage of the main

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Fig. 3. Thermodynamic calculations showing the evolution of the chemical composition of austenite during solidification: (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) referring to carbon, chromium, manganese, silicon and tungsten,
respectively.
Surface & Coatings Technology 357 (2019) 651–661
N.G. Chaidemenopoulos et al. Surface & Coatings Technology 357 (2019) 651–661

elements on characteristic morphologies. Analysis at the point de-


noted with “Spectrum 1” (dark gray) resulted in an at% composition of
22.5 C, 1.3 Cr, 71.0 Fe and 5.2 W, with an atomic [Fe + Cr]/[C] ratio
3.21, close to that of M23C6. The respective composition of point
“Spectrum 2” (white) occurred 55.5 C, 0.5 Fe and 44.0 W, indicating
the presence of WC. Given these results, further cooling is expected to
induce solid state transformation of the austenite to ferrite and a small
amount of carbide precipitates (M23C6), that compose the metallic
matrix surrounding 51.5 wt% of pre-existing and primary tungsten
carbides. The rather small amount of M23C6 precipitates was not
possible to be identified by X-ray diffraction.
Further microscopic observations were performed in order to
clarify the presence of sub-stoichiometric tungsten carbide and η-
carbide. Microscopic observations of the obtained microstructure
revealed the coexistence of tungsten carbide particles with different
degrees of erosion by the liquid ferrous matrix (Fig. 5a). Large size
Fig. 4. Typical SEM micrograph of the composite deposit's microstructure and pre-existing particles exhibited dissolution at the outer boundaries
indicative points where EDAX analysis was performed. area, whilst their interior volume remained non-attacked by the li-
quid metal (Fig. 5b). Smaller size particles suffered from attack by

Fig. 5. Composite deposit (optical micrographs of cross-sections). (a) General view of the obtained overlayers indicating different degrees of interaction of isolated
WC particles with the molten metal (areas b and c). Representative particles exhibiting partial dissolution at the outer boundaries area (b) and subjected to attack
throughout the whole volume (c).

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Fig. 7. Composite deposit (SEM micrographs of cross-sections). (a) An isolated


WC particle exhibiting partial dissolution at the outer boundaries area, together
Fig. 6. Composite deposit (SEM micrographs of cross-sections). (a) An isolated with an extensive network of cracks within its bulk volume, (b) isolated WC
WC particle exhibiting partial dissolution at the outer boundaries area, (b) and particle totally eroded and (c) detail of (b) at the outer boundaries area of the
(c) successive magnifications of (a) at the carbide particle/ferrous matrix in- particle.
terface.

by a network of dark lines within the volume of the carbide particle


the molten metal throughout their whole volume (Fig. 5c). Similar (Fig. 7a). These can be attributed to either extensive cracking of the
observations have been reported in the case of in-situ preparation of particle or wetting of grain boundaries of poly-crystalline carbides by
tungsten carbide-reinforced Fe-based surface composites via solid the liquid. The latter assumption could be verified by performing
state diffusion [24], as well as in the case of GMAW deposition of Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) that could reveal the mono- or
fused tungsten carbides embedded in Ni-based alloy on common polycrystalline nature of the carbide, something, though not possible
steel [25]. with the equipment available in the present study. However, the mor-
More detailed observations of representative isolated carbide par- phology and the direction of such dark lines observed also in additional
ticles of large size (Fig. 6a and b) demonstrated that the action of the photographs on similar carbide areas make the former assumption more
liquid metal introduced progressive detachment of the reaction zone at plausible. In either case, this discontinuities network allowed the liquid
the boundaries area and subsequent removal of parts of η-carbide in a metal to penetrate at the interior and resulted in severe attack of the
distance from the initial particle (Fig. 6c). This first stage was followed remaining particle (Fig. 7b), which is finally disrupted to smaller,

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Table 4
Successive stages of the mechanism of WC particles interaction with the molten Fe-matrix, during solidification.
Stage Event Result

1st Attack at the border of the pre-existing WC particle by the ferrous liquid Formation of W2C and Fe3W3C
2nd Detachment of parts of the reaction zone Slight reduction of the particle size
3rd Extensive cracking within the non-attacked volume of the particle Penetration of the liquid metal in the interior of the particle
4th Intensive chemical attack of the entire particle Total degradation via fragmentation and metallurgical reactions

Fig. 8. Hypereutectic deposit. Thermodynamic calculations


showing (a) the evolution of the solidification path and (b)
the composition (mol%) of the solid upon the completion of
solidification. (c) X-ray diffraction spectrum of the deposit,
after removal of a ~1-mm thick top layer [1: austenite, 2:
ferrite, 3: NbC, 4: (Fe,Cr)7C3, 5: Fe3C].

elongated fragments (Fig. 7c). For isolated pre-existing carbide particles By the completion of solidification, the entire quantity of niobium
of smaller dimensions, this mechanism led faster to their degradation. would be consumed for the carbide formation (Fig. 9a) and the calcu-
This mechanism can be summarized by the superposition of four suc- lated chemical composition (wt%) of the austenite would be 1.60 C, 4.0
cessive steps, as presented in Table 4. Cr and 2.0 Si (Fig. 9). Further solid state transformation during cooling
is expected to result in a microstructure of ferrite and retained auste-
3.2. Microstructure features of the hypereutectic deposit nite. As in the previous case, XRD analysis performed on a surface in a
depth of approximately 1 mm from the outer surface of the deposit
In the case of electrode B, thermodynamic calculations predict that (Fig. 8c), identified the existence of retained austenite, ferrite, niobium
the solidification of the hypereutectic liquid starts at 1931 °C with the carbide (NbC), (Fe,Cr)7C3 (M7C3) and cementite (Fe3C).
formation of primary niobium carbide (NbC) followed by the formation Microscopic observation of the microstructure revealed a dense
of primary carbide (M7C3) at 1330 °C. Austenite formation starts at dispersion of primary carbides (white areas, Fig. 10a) within a metallic
1250 °C and the solidification of the liquid phase is completed at matrix of ferrite - retained austenite and cementite lamellas. The mi-
1180 °C (Fig. 8a); the microstructure of the deposit just below this crohardness values are characterised by narrow scattering between 730
temperature contains 7 mol% primary NbC, 44 mol% primary M7C3 and 825 HV0.3, with a mean value of 765 ± 10 HV0.3 (Fig. 10b).
and 49 mol% austenite (Fig. 8b). The solidification path can be de- Compared to the previous deposit, this microhardness distribution can
scribed by reaction (2): be attributed to the denser network of different types of carbides. The
H.A.Z. exhibited two distinct zones of different mean microhardness
values that can be related to the double-pass deposition processing. The
1931°C 1330°C 1250°C
L L + NbC L + NbC + M 7C 3 L + FCC + NbC
1180°C upper zone, in contact to the deposit, has a thickness of ~1.0 mm,
+ M 7C 3 FCC + NbC + M 7C 3 (2)
corresponds to the second pass and is characterised by a mean

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Fig. 9. Thermodynamic calculations showing the evolution of the chemical composition of austenite during solidification: (a), (c) and (d) referring to niobium,
chromium, and silicon, respectively. (b) Variation of the carbon content in austenite, as a function of the mole fraction of the solid formed.

Fig. 10. Hypereutectic deposit: (a) optical micrograph of the microstructure on a cross-section, (b) in-depth microhardness distribution, (c) and (d) characteristic
microstructure features at different magnifications (SEM micrographs).

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Fig. 11. Hypoeutectic deposit. Thermodynamic calculations


showing (a) the evolution of the solidification path and (b)
the composition (mol%) of the solid upon the completion of
solidification. (c) X-ray diffraction spectrum of the deposit,
after removal of a ~1-mm thick top layer [1: austenite, 2:
ferrite, 3: (Fe,Cr)7C3, 4: (Fe,Cr)23C6].

microhardness value of 550 ± 10 HV0.3. The lower zone, in contact to By the end of solidification, the chemical composition (wt%) of
the base metal, has a thickness of ~1.5 mm, corresponds to the first pass austenite was calculated as 0.66 C, 12.0 Cr, 0.5 Ni, 2.1 Mn and 2.1 Si.
and its mean value tends to 360 ± 10 HV0.3, which is lower than that Further solid state transformation of the austenite during cooling is
of the bainite base metal. In Fig. 10c and d, this carbide network can be expected to result in a final composition of ferrite and M23C6. X-ray
clearly observed, with the primary niobium carbides having a char- diffraction on a surface 1 mm underneath the outmost surface of the
acteristic polygon-like morphology (white features). Similar observa- deposit detected austenite, ferrite, (Fe,Cr)7C3 and (Fe,Cr)23C6 as the
tions on the morphology of niobium carbides were reported in the cases obtained phases (Fig. 11c). The only deviation from the thermodynamic
of hypereutectic high Cr cast irons [11] and hardfacing deposits [16], prediction was again the presence of retained austenite, associated to
both containing significant amounts of Nb. In the case of high Cr cast the cooling rate that did not allow complete solid state transformation
iron containing 13.3% wt., these primary niobium carbides were de- to ferrite.
veloped in dendritic structure [26]. Micrographic observations of the main volume of the deposit re-
vealed a homogenous distribution of primary carbides within the me-
tallic matrix (Fig. 12a). These primary carbides are (Fe,Cr)7C3 and have
3.3. Microstructure features of the hypoeutectic deposit
polygon-like morphology (Fig. 12b), as identified also by other re-
searchers [10,12,15]. The deposit's microhardness varied from 600 up
In the case of electrode C, thermodynamic calculations predicted
to 740 HV0.3, with a mean value of 685 ± 10 HV0.3, whilst H.A.Z. is
that the solidification of the hypoeutectic liquid starts at 1330 °C with
also characterised by two district zones corresponding to the double-
the formation of the primary carbide (M7C3), followed by austenite
pass deposition, the upper one with a mean value of 410 ± 10 HV0.3
solidification starting at 1282 °C. The solidification of the liquid phase
and the lower one with a mean value of 310 ± 10 HV0.3 (Fig. 12c).
is completed at 1270 °C (Fig. 11a) and the microstructure of the deposit
Compared to the relevant values measured in the case of the hyper-
just below this temperature contains 35 mol% primary M7C3 and
eutectic deposits, these lower values can be attributed to differences of
65 mol% austenite (Fig. 11b). The solidification path can be described
the processing and cooling rates of the deposits due to their manual
by reaction (3):
elaboration.
1330°C 1282°C 1270°C
(3) Microscopic observations near the interface of the deposit with the
L L + M 7C 3 L + M 7C 3 + FCC FCC + M 7C 3
upper H.A.Z. revealed the growth of dendritic structure perpendicular

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Fig. 12. Hypoeutectic deposit: (a) optical micrograph of the microstructure on


a cross section at the middle of the hardfacing overlayer, (b) SEM micrograph
indicating characteristic features morphology and (c) in-depth microhardness
distribution.

Fig. 13. Hypoeutectic deposit's characteristic microstructure constituents at the


vicinity of the interface with the underlying H.A.Z.: (a) optical micrograph of
to the interface (Fig. 13a). The serrated microstructure features ob- the microstructure indicating dendritic growth, (b) and (c) successive magni-
served in this area (Fig. 13b) can be identified as primary carbides fications revealing the nature of the characteristic features formed (SEM mi-
(Fe,Cr)7C3, since elemental microanalysis (point A, table in Fig. 13c) crographs and respective local microanalysis, at.%, on the points marked in c).
determined an atomic ratio of [Fe + Cr]/[C] equal to 2.25. These ser-
rated features were grown within an austenite matrix with needle-like
eutectic (Fe,Cr)7C3 (point B, table in Fig. 13c), which is further sur- 4. Conclusions
rounded by microconstituents at the boundary of which Μ23C6 pre-
cipitates with an atomic [Fe + Cr]/[C] ratio tending to 3.73 (point C, In the present study, three Fe-based hardfacing deposits, of different
table in Fig. 13c). Similar observations are also reported by other re- chemical composition were elaborated on common steel substrate via
searchers [10,12,15]. traditional welding techniques. The solidification paths were simulated

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The authors would like to thank the Head and the personnel of the microstructural evolution and hardness of self-shielded arc weld deposits con-
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University of Thessaly (Volos, Greece) for their assistance with the [23] J.O. Andersson, T. Helander, L. Höglund, P. Shi, B. Sundman, Thermo-Calc &
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