Degenerated graphite growth in ductile iron
As part of a study devoted to the effect of trace elements on graphite degeneracy, near-eutectic ductile iron melts were prepared to which minute amounts of lead and of both lead and cerium were added. The melts were cast into an insulated Y4 mould, giving a solidification time of about 1 hour and a cooling time to room temperature of about 15 hours. In the thermal centre of the Pb containing sample graphite spheroids as well as intergranular lamellar graphite have been found. At the same location of the casting containing both Pb and Ce, exploded as well as chunky graphite could be observed, while the formation of intergranular lamellar graphite has been suppressed.Deep etching of the samples allowed reaching the following conclusions: i) intergranular graphite in the SG-Pb sample often, if not always, originates on graphite nodules and extends towards the last to freeze areas; ii) in one location of the SG-PbCe sample, chunky graphite strings were observed to originate on an exploded nodule, thus confirming the close relationship between these two forms of graphite. Because of the over-treatment in cerium of the SG-PbCe sample, other unusual degenerate graphite was observed which appears as coarse aggregates of "porous" graphite after deep etching.