Characterization of Graphite Crystal Structure and Growth Mechanisms Using FIB and 3D Image Analysis

Authors

  • Alexandra Hatton,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department Materials Science, Functional Materials, Universität des Saarlandes Campus Saarbrücken, Building D3.3, 66123 Saarbrücken (Germany)
    2. J D Theile GmbH & Co. KG, Letmatherstr 26, 58239 Schwerte (Germany)
    • Department Materials Science, Functional Materials, Universität des Saarlandes Campus Saarbrücken, Building D3.3, 66123 Saarbrücken (Germany).
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  • Michael Engstler,

    1. Department Materials Science, Functional Materials, Universität des Saarlandes Campus Saarbrücken, Building D3.3, 66123 Saarbrücken (Germany)
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  • Peter Leibenguth,

    1. Department Materials Science, Functional Materials, Universität des Saarlandes Campus Saarbrücken, Building D3.3, 66123 Saarbrücken (Germany)
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  • Frank Mücklich

    1. Department Materials Science, Functional Materials, Universität des Saarlandes Campus Saarbrücken, Building D3.3, 66123 Saarbrücken (Germany)
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  • The research was sponsored by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the project Nr.03N3119. Authors would like to thank Mr. H. Junk, Halberg Guss GmbH, for kindly providing the sample material, Dr. K. Schladitz, Fraunhofer ITWM Kaiserslautern, for the help by the 3D characterisation, Dr. C. Holzapfel for the help with TEM analysis.

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.

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