Mechanisms of carburization and melting of iron by CO gas

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Mechanisms of carburizing and melting iron in CO atmosphere with carbon activity of unity have been studied at a temperature range of 1 486-1 664 K, i.e. above the eutectic temperature of the Fe-C system. The behavior of melting iron was observed in situ by a confocal scanning laser microscope incorporated with an infrared image furnace. Carburization to γ-iron is controlled by the mixed rate-determining step, which consists of the carbon diffusion in γ-iron and chemical reaction at the gas-solid interface. The diffusion coefficient of carbon in γ-iron was determined from the carbon concentration profiles as follows, D/m2s-1=2.0×10-6 exp(-112.0×103/RT) (1 486-1 664 K) where R is the gas constant, 8.314 JK-1 mol-1. The mechanism of iron melting by carburization is discussed according to the analogous treatment to the heterogeneous nucleation theory. An incubation time is necessary for melting iron, where the in cubation time is the time required for the carbon concentration to reach the supersaturated concentration from the solidus concentration of carbon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-421
Number of pages6
JournalIsij International
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • CO
  • Carburization
  • Diffusion coefficient of carbon
  • Fe-C system
  • In situ observation
  • Incubation time
  • Ironmaking
  • Kinetics
  • Melting
  • Supersaturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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