Effects of residual elements arsenic, antimony, and tin on surface hot shortness

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39 Scopus citations


Scrap-based electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking is limited by a surface cracking problem in the recycled steel products, which is known as surface hot shortness. This problem originates from the excessive amount of copper (Cu) in the steel scrap, which enriches during the oxidation of iron (Fe) and consequently melts and penetrates into the austenite grain boundaries. In this article, the effects of arsenic (As), antimony (Sb), and tin (Sn) on surface hot shortness were investigated. A series of Fe-0.3 wt pct Cu-x wt pct (As, Sb, or Sn) alloys with x content ranging from 0.06 to 0.10 wt pct was oxidized in air at 1423 K (1150 °C) for 60, 300, and 600 seconds inside the chamber of a thermogravimety analyzer (TGA) where heat is supplied through infrared radiation. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) investigations show that (1) the presence of Sb and Sn results in severe grain boundary cracking, whereas the presence of As does not, (2) open cracks with Fe oxides were found beneath the oxide/metal interface in the Sb and Sn alloys, and (3) the oxide/metal interfaces for all As, Sb, and Sn alloys are planar. Penetration experiments of pure Cu and Cu-30 wt pct Sn liquid were also conducted in the chamber of a hot-stage confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) in nonoxidizing atmosphere: (1) on the Fe-35 wt pct manganese (Mn) alloys to study the correlation between cracking and grain boundary characters, and (2) on the pure Fe substrates to exclude the bulk segregation effects of Sn on grain boundary cracking. It was found that grain boundary cracking rarely took place on low-energy grain boundaries. The results also suggest that the bulk segregation of Sn in the substrate is not necessary to promote significant grain boundary cracking, and as long as the liquid phase contains Sn, it will be highly embrittling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1043
Number of pages13
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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