2018 Volume 58 Issue 7 Pages 1307-1315
Distribution and morphology of MnS inclusions in as-cast ingots and as-forged bars of two Zr-bearing resulfurized non-quenched and tempered (NQT) steels have been performed. In the low Zr-bearing steel (0.001 wt%), MnS inclusions, which are teardrop-shaped or rod-like in two-dimensional (2D) morphology and dendritic or skeletal in three-dimensional (3D) morphology, are mainly distributed and segregated at the grain boundaries. While in the high Zr-bearing steel (0.0066 wt%), MnS inclusions are spherical or angular in both 2D and 3D observation and the distribution is more uniform than those in low zirconium steel. The calculated results by Thermo-Calc software show that the content of oxygen is not the direct factor that influences the morphology and distribution of MnS inclusions in medium-sulfur low-oxygen NQT steels. ZrO2 particles are ideal partcles for generation of spherical type I MnS inclusions owing to their strong nucleation capability and large amounts. However, the Zr and Al contents should be controlled cautiously to avoid generating large-sized agminated complex oxides, which are not easy to float and be removed owing to their high density. Otherwise, the ideal particles ZrO2 would decrease sharply in number and fail in offering sufficient heterogeneous nuclei for type I MnS inclusions. Besides, high proportion of complex MnS inclusions would decrease the supersaturation when pure MnS inclusions begin to precipitate, suppressing the generation of dendritic type II MnS inclusions.