Transactions of the Indian Institute of Metals

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 335–342 | Cite as

Mechanism of Carbon Diffusion in the Iron Sheet During Gas–Solid Decarburization

  • Lu-kuo Hong
  • Rong Cheng
  • Li-qun AiEmail author
  • Cai-jiao Sun
Technical Paper


To investigate the diffusion of carbon in the iron sheet during gas–solid decarburization in a weak oxidative atmosphere (Ar + H2 + H2O), the microstructures of iron sheets following decarburization were observed through SEM. The carbon gradient following decarburization in the iron sheet along the thickness direction was detected in this study. The results showed that the iron sheet along the thickness direction following decarburization consisted of three layers: the L1 layer (ferrite phase) that was near the surface, the L2 layer (cementite phase) that was between the L1 + L3 layers, and the L3 layer (cementite + ferrite + graphite phase) that was in the center of the sample. The depth of the decarburization layer (L1 + L2) showed a good linear relation with the square root of the decarburization time. The carbon gradient in iron sheet along the thickness direction was of ladder type during decarburization. The carbon content in the center of iron sheet was influenced by the decarburization time or the temperature. The carbon migration in iron sheet consisted of stable carbon decomposition and free carbon diffusion. The carbon migration in the S2 stage of iron sheet was the controlling step of the entire decarburization process.


Mechanism Diffusion Carbon content Decarburization 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant (51374090).


  1. 1.
    Lu S J, and Wang F Y, Glob Met Bull 06 (2012) 1.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hong L K, Ai L Q, and Cheng R, J Iron Steel Res Int 28 (2016) 37.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Song J M, Lui T S, and Cheng L H, Metall Mater Trans A 33 (2002) 1263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Normura M, Morimoto H, and Toyama M, ISIJ Int 40 (2000) 619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lobanovm L, and Gomzikov A I, Met Sci Heat Treat 47 (2005) 478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lee W H, Park J O, and Lee J S, Ironmak Steelmak 39 (2012) 530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Park J O, Van Long T, and Sasaki Y, ISIJ Int 52 (2012) 26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hong L K, and Ai L Q, Iron Steel 51 (2016) 17.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Georgead E T, and Maurice A H. Steel Heat Treatment Handbook, CRC Press Marcell Dekker (1997) p 678.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Marder A R, Perpetua S M, and Kowalik J A, Metall Trans A 16 (1985) 1160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dalley A M, Metall Micro Anal 1 (2012) 59.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shu S L, Yu Fu Gu, and Guan Z Q, Trans Nonferr Metal Soc 24 (2014) 3372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yoshida C, Taniguchi K, Nakagawa T, et al, Characteristics of Rapidly Solidified Cast Iron and High Carbon Steel, Tetsu-to-Hagane (1986) p 2240.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Yoshida C, Yasunak H, and Nozaki T, Trans Iron Steel Inst 27 (1987) 819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chen Y L, Zuo M F, and Luo Z L, Trans Mater Heat Treat 36 (2015) 192Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Luo H W, Xiang R, and Chen L F, Chin Sci Bull 59 (2014) 866.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ren H R, Gao J T, and Wang Z, J Iron Steel Res Int 24 (2017) 844.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gao M Q, Qu Y D, and Li G L, J Iron Steel Res Int 24 (2017) 838.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Indian Institute of Metals - IIM 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lu-kuo Hong
    • 1
  • Rong Cheng
    • 1
  • Li-qun Ai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cai-jiao Sun
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Metallurgy and EnergyNorth China University of Science and TechnologyTangshanChina

Personalised recommendations