The effect of cerium on inclusions in an ultra-low-carbon Al-killed steel was studied at 1873 K (1600 °C) using laboratory experiments. The content of cerium in the steel varied from 0 to 0.028 wt pct. The contents of the total oxygen (T.O), total nitrogen (T.N), total sulfur (T.S), total cerium (T.Ce) and dissolved aluminum ([Al]) in the steel samples 1, 5, 10 and 30 minutes after adding cerium were measured, and inclusions were characterized using an automatic scanning electron microscope. It was found that a cerium-concentrated zone formed after the cerium alloy was added to the molten steel. Many inclusions were generated in the cerium-concentrated zone and then disappeared with the decrease of the cerium content. The variation of the inclusion composition was Al2O3 → CeAlO3 → Ce2O2S → Ce2O2S + CeS with the increasing cerium content in the steel, which agreed well with the thermodynamic analysis. The value of T.Ce/T.O was able to evaluate and predict the type of inclusions. A prediction model of the composition of inclusions was established based on thermodynamic calculation and mass balance and was validated by experimental data. When the value of T.Ce/(T.S + T.O) was ≥ 4.4, the average composition of inclusions changed little since most inclusions were fully modified.
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The authors are grateful for support from the National Science Foundation China (Grant No. U1860206 and No. 51725402), the High Steel Center (HSC) at Yanshan University, and Beijing International Center of Advanced and Intelligent Manufacturing of High Quality Steel Materials (ICSM), Beijing Key Laboratory of Green Recycling and Extraction of Metals (GREM) and the High Quality Steel Consortium (HQSC) at University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB), China.
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Manuscript submitted June 6, 2019.
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Ren, Q., Zhang, L. Effect of Cerium Content on Inclusions in an Ultra-Low-Carbon Aluminum-Killed Steel. Metall Mater Trans B 51, 589–600 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11663-020-01779-y