Evolution and distribution of the copper-rich phase during oxidation of an iron-0.3wt%copper alloy at 1150°C

Bryan A. Webler, Seetharaman Sridhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Residual copper contents in low carbon steels lead to a cracking phenomenon known as surface hot shortness. This phenomenon is caused by a copper-rich liquid layer that forms due to copper enrichment as iron oxidizes during casting, reheating and/or hot rolling. Evolution of the copper-rich liquid layer is dependent on the competing processes of enrichment due to iron oxidation and diffusion of copper back into the metal. This paper presents comparisons between experiments and calculations of a fixed grid finite difference model that predicts the evolution of the copper-rich region. Experiments involved oxidizing an iron-0.3wt%copper alloy In a gold-image furnace equipped with thermogravimetric balance. Samples were oxidized at 1150°C In three atmospheres, dry air, wet air (15 vol% H2O), and argon-15vol%H 2O. Model predictions agree with measured data for dry air oxidation at 1150°C for 60, 300, 420, 600, 900, and 1200 s. Agreement was also obtained for iron oxidized for 1800 and 2700 s in argon-15vol%water vapor. However, model predictions deviated for samples oxidized 3600 s in dry air, 3600 s in water vapor, and 600 s in wet air. The deviations arise due to grain boundary penetration and diffusion of copper. Results suggest a critical amount of separated copper is necessary for substantial grain boundary penetration to occur and the required amount decreases when the gas contains H2O. The model was also used to estimate the evolution behavior of the liquid copper phase under industrially relevant conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1345-1353
Number of pages9
JournalISIJ International
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Copper
  • Finite difference model
  • High-residual containing steels
  • Surface hot shortness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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