Microstructure and toughness of CuNiMo austempered ductile iron
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The effect of austempering on the microstructure and toughness of nodular cast iron (designated as CuNiMoSG) alloyed with molybdenum, copper, nickel, and manganese has been studied. Light microscopy (LM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction technique were performed for microstructural characterization, whereas impact energy test was applied for toughness measurement. Specimens were austenitised at 860 degreesC, then austempered for various times at 320 and 400 degreesC, followed by ice-water quenching. Austempering at 320 degreesC produces a microstructure consisting of a mixture of acicular bainitic ferrite and the stable carbon-enriched austenite. In this microstructure epsilon-carbides are also identified after austempering up to 5 h. Fracture mode is changed from ductile to brittle with the prolonged time of austempering at 320 degreesC. The highest impact energy (115 kJ) corresponds not only to ductile fracture, but also to the maximum value of the volume fra...ction of retained austenite. Only martensitic structure was observed during austempering at 400 degreesC, inducing brittle fracture and significantly low-impact energy (10-12 kJ). (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.