Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B

, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 2205–2220 | Cite as

Formation Mechanism of Al2O3-Containing Inclusions in Al-Deoxidized Spring Steel

  • Sha Lyu
  • Xiaodong MaEmail author
  • Zongze Huang
  • Zan Yao
  • Hae-Geon Lee
  • Zhouhua Jiang
  • Geoff Wang
  • Jin Zou
  • Baojun Zhao


The source, characteristics, and mechanism of Al2O3-containing inclusions in Al-deoxidized spring steel were investigated using electron-probe X-ray microanalysis (EPMA). Spring samples were collected during vacuum degassing (VD) refining, in a tundish ladle, and after hot rolling, respectively. Based on primary inclusion components, seven types of inclusions were observed through the manufacturing process: Al2O3, Al2O3-SiO2, Al2O3-CaO, Al2O3-MgO, Al2O3-MgO-CaO, Al2O3-SiO2-MnO, and Al2O3-SiO2-CaO. The Al2O3 and Al2O3-SiO2 inclusions were mainly attributed to deoxidization products, less than 15 μm in diameter and with liquidus temperatures exceeding 1600 °C. For Al2O3-CaO inclusions, which were considered to be formed by the reduction of entrapped slag by Al dissolved in the steel, the Al2O3/CaO ratio obviously decreased with the increase of inclusion sizes. Most Al2O3-SiO2-CaO inclusions were less than 15 μm in diameter, with their composition close to that of the refining slag and a liquidus temperature near 1500 °C. The Al2O3-MgO and Al2O3-SiO2-MnO inclusions originated from inherent reactions between dissolved [Al], [Si], [Mn], [Mg], and [O] in the steel. Al2O3-MgO-CaO inclusions resulted from coalescence between Al2O3-MgO and Al2O3-CaO inclusions.



This work was supported by the Australian Research Council and Baosteel Australia Research and Development Centre. The University of Queensland International Research Tuition Award and China Scholarship Council provided scholarships for Mr. Sha Lyu. The Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility is acknowledged for providing characterization facilities. Technical support for the EPMA facility from Mr. Ron Rasch and Ms. Ying Yu, Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, University of Queensland, is gratefully acknowledged.


  1. 1.
    R. Sharp and D. Crolla: Vehicle Syst. Dyn., 1987, vol. 16, pp. 167–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    D. Prasad and H. Kytömaa: Int. J. Multiph. Flow, 1995, vol. 21, pp. 775–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    T. Yamamoto, R. Kobayashi, T. Ozone, and M. Kurimoto: J. Heat Treat., 1984, vol. 3, pp. 220–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    R. Batson and J. Bradley: Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., 1931, vol. 120, pp. 301–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    S.K. Das, N. Mukhopadhyay, B.R. Kumar, and D. Bhattacharya: Eng. Fail. Anal., 2007, vol. 14, pp. 158–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Lankford: Int. Met. Rev., 1977, vol. 22, pp. 221–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Z. Szklarska-Smialowska: Corrosion, 1972, vol. 28, pp. 388–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    J.S. Byun, J.H. Shim, Y. Cho, and D. Lee: Acta Mater., 2003, vol. 51, pp. 1593–1606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Q.Y. Wang, J.Y. Berard, A. Dubarre, G. Baudry, S. Rathery, and C. Bathias: Fatig. Fract. Eng. Mater. Struct., 1999, vol. 22, pp. 667–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    K. Tanaka and T. Mura: Metall. Trans. A, 1982, vol. 13A, pp. 117–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    J. Zhang, S. Li, Z. Yang, G. Li, W. Hui, and Y. Weng: Int. J. Fatigue, 2007, vol. 29, pp. 765–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Z. Lei, Y. Hong, J. Xie, C. Sun, and A. Zhao: Mater. Sci. Eng. A, 2012, vol. 558, pp. 234–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    P.J. Laz and B.M. Hillberry: Int. J. Fatigue, 1998, vol. 20, pp. 263–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    T. Kunio, M. Shimizu, K. Yamada, K. Sakura, and T. Yamamoto: Int. J. Fatigue, 1981, vol. 17, pp. 111–19.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    J. Laizhu, C. Kun, and H. Hänninen: J. Mater. Process. Technol., 1996, vol. 58, pp. 160–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    G. Ye, P. Jönsson, and T. Lund: ISIJ Int., 1996, vol. 36, pp. S105–S108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    H. Itoh, M. Hino, S. Ban.: Hagané, 1998, 84, 85–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    H. Suito, H. Inoue, and R. Inoue: ISIJ Int., 1991, vol. 31, pp. 1381–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Y. Chen, T.M. Chen, X.H. Wang, and J. Chen: Adv. Mater. Res., 2011, vol. 284, pp. 1060–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    X. Su, S.Q. Guo, M.R. Qiao, H.Y. Zheng, and L.B. Qin: Def. Diffus. Forum, 2018, vol. 382, pp. 80–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    C. Bertrand, J. Molinero, S. Landa, R. Elvira, M. Wild, G. Barthold, P. Valentin, and H. Schifferl: Ironmak. Steelmak., 2003, vol. 30, pp. 165–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    T. Abe, Y. Furuya, and S. Matsuoka: Fatig. Fract. Eng. Mater. Struct., 2004, vol. 27, pp. 159–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Q. Wang, C. Bathias, N. Kawagoishi, and Q. Chen: Int. J. Fatig., 2002, vol. 24, pp. 1269–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    H. Itoga, K. Tokaji, M. Nakajima, and H.N. Ko: Int. J. Fatig., 2003, vol. 25, pp. 379–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    S.K. Choudhary and A. Ghosh: ISIJ Int., 2008, vol. 48, pp. 1552–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    S.M. Wang, Y.P. Huo, and S.M. Wang. Adv. Mater. Res., 2012, vol. 535, pp. 706–10.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    J. Guo, S.S. Cheng, H.J. Guo, and Y.G. Mei: Int. J. Min. Met. Mater., 2018, vol. 25, pp. 280–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    N. Eid and P. Thomason: Acta Mater., 1979, vol. 27, pp. 1239–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    B. Coletti, B. Blanpain, S. Vantilt, and S. Sridhar: Metall. Mater. Trans. B, 2003, vol. 34B, pp. 533–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    J. Wikström, K. Nakajima, H. Shibata, A. Tilliander, and P. Jönsson: Ironmak. Steelmak., 2008, vol. 35, pp. 589–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Y. Kang, F. Li, K. Morita, and D. Sichen: Steel. Res. Int., 2006, vol. 77, pp. 785–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    S. Yang, Q. Wang, L. Zhang, J. Li, and K. Peaslee: Metall. Mater. Trans. B, 2012, vol. 43B, pp. 731–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    L. Holappa, M. Hämäläinen, M. Liukkonen, and M. Lind: Ironmak. Steelmak., 2003, vol. 30, pp. 111–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    M. Jiang, X. Wang, and W. Wang: Steel. Res. Int., 2010, vol. 81, pp. 759–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    M. Jiang, X. Wang, B. Chen, and W. Wang: ISIJ Int., 2008, vol. 48, pp. 885–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    M. Jiang, X. Wang, B. Chen, and W. Wang: ISIJ Int., 2010, vol. 50, pp. 95–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    M. Allibert, H. Gaye, J. Geiseler, D. Janke, B.J. Keene, D. Kirner, M. Kowalski, J. Lehmann, K.C. Mills, and D. Neuschütz: Slag Atlas, 2nd ed., Verlag Stahleisen GmbH, Düsseldorf, 1995, pp. 104, 116, 160.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    S. Kimura, K. Nakajima, and S. Mizoguchi: Metall. Mater. Trans. B, 2001, vol. 32B, pp. 79–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    L. Zhang and B.G. Thomas: Metall. Mater. Trans. B, 2006, vol. 37B, pp. 733–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    M. Faraji, D.P. Wilcox, R. Thackray, A.A. Howe, I. Todd, and P. Tsakiropoulos: Metall. Mater. Trans. B, 2015, vol. 46B, pp. 2490–2502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    M.A.V. Ende, M. Guo, E. Zinngrebe, R. Dekkers, J. Proost, B. Blanpain, and P. Wollants: Ironmak. Steelmak., 2009, vol. 36, pp. 201–08.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    E. Steinmetz, H.U. Linderberg, W. Morsdorf, and P. Hammerschmid: Arch. Eisenhuttenwes., 1977, vol. 48, pp. 569–74.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    K. Mills, A. Fox, Z. Li, and R. Thackray: Ironmak. Steelmak., 2005, vol. 32, pp. 26–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    K. Wang, M. Jiang, X. Wang, Y. Wang, H. Zhao, and Z. Cao: Metall. Mater. Trans. B, 2015, vol. 46B, pp. 2198–2207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    C. Bale, E. Bélisle, P. Chartrand, S. Decterov, G. Eriksson, A. Gheribi, K. Hack, I.H. Jung, Y.B. Kang, and J. Melançon: Calphad, 2016, vol. 54, pp. 35–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sha Lyu
    • 1
  • Xiaodong Ma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zongze Huang
    • 2
  • Zan Yao
    • 2
  • Hae-Geon Lee
    • 1
  • Zhouhua Jiang
    • 3
  • Geoff Wang
    • 1
  • Jin Zou
    • 1
  • Baojun Zhao
    • 1
  1. 1.University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Baoshan Iron and Steel Co. Ltd.ShanghaiP.R. China
  3. 3.Northeastern UniversityShenyangP.R. China

Personalised recommendations