Surface tension of liquid iron is an important property for process simulations evaluating Marangoni flow in the melt. In this study, we succeeded to measure accurate surface tension of liquid iron under various oxygen activities and temperatures with overcoming experimental difficulties through the following attempts: (1) To prevent chemical contamination of sample, an oscillating droplet method using an electromagnetic levitator was employed. Surface oscillation frequencies were determined with taking into account sample rotation. (2) To control the oxygen activity of liquid iron, a gas-liquid equilibrium method using CO/CO2 containing gas mixtures was employed. This method enables precise control of oxygen activity with keeping carbon activity low, and therefore, oxygen activity dependence of surface tension was clarified without carbon effect. (3) To measure the surface tension for higher oxygen activities up to the Fe/FeO equilibrium, high-purity iron (99.9972 mass%) was used. Otherwise, minor reactive impurities in the melt such as aluminum are oxidized, which affects the surface tension measurement. Based on the experimental data, the surface tension of liquid iron was expressed as functions of oxygen activity and temperature using the Szyszkowski model. In addition, thermodynamic properties on the oxygen adsorption reaction and structure of the adsorbed oxygen layer on the melt surface were also discussed.
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