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Journal of Phase Equilibria and Diffusion


This paper investigates the effect of alloy composition on the gas carburizing performance of AISI 1018, 4820, 5120, and 8620 steels. The mass-transfer coefficients and carbon diffusivities were calculated from experimental measurements using direct flux integration. Although steels with high concentration of austenite-stabilizing elements (Si, Ni) increased carbon diffusivity in austenite, they significantly reduced the kinetics of carbon transfer from the atmosphere to the steel surface and resulted in lower weight gain. Despite lowering the carbon diffusivities, steels alloyed with carbide-forming elements (Cr, Mo) significantly increased the mass-transfer coefficient in the atmosphere and enhanced the rate of carbon profile evolution. The experimentally determined carbon diffusivities were in good agreement with the carbon diffusivities obtained from the thermodynamic and kinetic databases in DICTRA. Overall, using the concentration dependent mass-transfer coefficient and carbon diffusivity in various alloy steels helped explain the experimentally observed variations in the carbon concentration profiles and the effective case depths. Recommendations are made to help achieve better case depth uniformity within a carburizing workload.





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Copyright 2009, ASM International. This paper was published in Journal of Phase Equilibria and Diffusion Vol. 30 Iss. 3 pp. 235-241 and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of, ASM International. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplications of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of this paper are prohibited.