Influence of Silicon on Cementite Precipitation in Steels

E. Kozeschnik and H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia


The mechanism by which relatively small concentrations of silicon influence the precipitation of cementite from carbon--supersaturated austenite and ferrite are investigated. It is found that one condition for the retardation of cementite is that the latter must grow under paraequilibrium conditions, i.e., the silicon must be trapped in the cementite. However, this is not a sufficient condition in that it can only be effective in retarding the transformation rate if the overall driving force for the reaction is not large. It is demonstrated that the experience that silicon retards the tempering of martensite requires the presence of lattice defects which can reduce the amount of carbon available for precipitation and the associated driving force.

Materials Science and Technology, Vol. 24, 2008, 343--347.

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