2020 Volume 60 Issue 1 Pages 92-98
The addition of boron to steel alloys results in an increase in both hardenability and casting defects. The casting difficulties are predicted to stem from a metatectic reaction, δ + γ → L + γ, where a fully solidified material begins to locally remelt as the temperature decreases. Another possible source of casting defects is a boride-rich phase that is predicted to remain liquid at low temperatures. To experimentally determine which reaction is the likely source of the casting defects, the predicted reactions and the effect of solute elements on those reactions are investigated. Levitation zone melting is used to control segregation in a ternary Fe–C–B alloy and a commercial 22MnB5 alloy. Carbon segregation and a peritectic reaction result in a peritectic jump during directional solidification where the first directionally solidified (DS) zone undergoes δ-bcc solidification followed by a peritectic jump to steady state planar solidification of γ-fcc in the second DS zone. The presence of other solute elements in the zone melted 22MnB5 alloy lead to a breakdown in the planar solidification front before steady state solidification could be achieved in the second DS zone. With a cellular solid/liquid interface, boron-rich intercellular liquid formed low melting iron boro-carbide particles. The controlled solidification conditions in a levitation zone melter were unable to prevent ~0.003 wt% boron from segregating to high enough levels to form boride particles. Therefore, it is likely that during commercial casting, the formation of the low melting boride phase from interdendritic segregation is a key source of the casting issues.