In the present study, the formation and growth behaviors of intermetallic compound (IMC) layers in the interfacial reaction of solid Fe and molten Zn during hot dipping at 450 °C were investigated. In the early stage of the interfacial reaction, Γ-Fe4Zn9, δ1k-FeZn7, and ζ-FeZn13 phases were formed, among which the growth of the ζ layer was dominant. Columns of the δ1p-Fe13Zn126 phase were formed on the δ1k/ζ interface at approximately 90 s, and the four IMC layers grew simultaneously until 600 s. Subsequently, a layer of the Γ1-Fe21.2Zn80.8 phase was formed along the Γ/δ1k interface and started growing, after which all the equilibrium IMC phases of Γ/Γ1/δ1k/δ1p/ζ grew competitively. The total thickness of the five IMC layers, dtotal, increased proportionally with the square root of the reaction time, t, i.e., dtotal = d0 t 0.5, which suggested that the growth of the entire IMC layers was controlled by the volume diffusion. However, the values of the time exponent, n, for the individual IMC layers differed depending on their microstructures and chemical concentrations, under equilibrium or nonequilibrium conditions. The formation of the multilayered columnar ζ phase can be attributed to the heterogeneous supersaturation of Fe in the liquid Zn near the columnar ζ / liquid Zn interface during the early stage of the interfacial reaction. The interdiffusion fluxes, J̃ϕ, of Fe and Zn in the ϕ phase (ϕ = Γ, δ1k, and ζ) were estimated from the measured concentration profiles of each phase. This suggested that J̃ϕ caused the growth of each phase as well as the supersaturation of Fe near the interfacial boundaries, thereby resulting in considerable deviations from the equilibrium concentrations. In the later stage of the interfacial reaction, the interfacial concentrations gradually approached the equilibrium concentrations with decreasing J̃ϕ.
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