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Abstract

Considering the significant influence of the morphology of graphite inclusions on the properties of cast iron it is important to understand the correlation between manufacturing parameters and resulting microstructure. In particular, understanding the effect of alloying elements and inoculants on the formation and growth mechanisms of the graphite particles provides the basis for exact tailoring of the microstructure and thus exact tailoring of effective properties of cast iron. Experimental observations of the three-dimensional (3D) structure of graphite particles, high resolution chemical analysis of nuclei and other inclusions, as well as quantitative characterization of possible growth mechanisms have confirmed certain existing theoretical models for nodular and flake graphite and provided a comprehensive description of all intermediate morphologies. Precise analysis of the graphite's crystal structure based on target preparation of transmission electron microscope thin foils opens additional possibilities for estimating of the properties of different graphite types.