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829
IRON AND STEEL


adjusting the silicon-content, because the presence of this element favours the formation of graphite. Beyond this, rapid cooling and the presence of sulphur both oppose the formation of graphite, and hence in cast iron rich in sulphur, and in thin and therefore rapidly cooling castings, the silicon-content must be greater than in thick ones and in those freer from sulphur. Thus thick machinery castings usually contain between I-50 and 2-25 'Z/, Q of silicon, whereas thin castings and ornamental ones which must reproduce the finest details of the mould accurately may have as much as 3 or even 3-40910 of it. Castings which, like hydraulic press cylinders and steam radiators, must be dense and hence must have but little graphite lest their contents leak through their walls, should not have more than 1-75 QQ, of silicon and may have even as little as I "., if impenetrability is so important that softness and consequent ease of machining must be sacrificed to it. Cast iron railroad car wheels, the tread or rim of which must be intensely hard so as to endure the grinding action of the brake shoe while their central parts must have good shock-resisting power, are given such moderate silicon-content, preferably between 0-50 and 0-80 %, as in and by itself leaves the tendencies toward gra hite-forming and toward cementite-forming nearly in balance, so tffat they are easily controlled by the rate of cooling. The “ tread ” or circumferential part of the mould itself is made of iron, because this, by conducting the heat away from the casting rapidly, makes it cool quickly, and thus causes most of the carbon here to form cementite, and thus in turn makes the tread of the wheel intensely hard; while those parts of the mould which come in Contact with the central parts of the wheel are made of sand, which conducts the heat away from the molten metal so slowly that it solidifies slowly, with the result that most of its carbpn forms graphite, and here the metal is soft and shock-resisting.

IIT. Influence of Sulphurf-Sulphur has the specific harmful effects of shifting the carbon from the state of graphite to that of cementite, and thus of making the metal hard and brittle; of making it thick and sluggish when molten, so that it does not run freely in the moulds; and of making it red short, i.e. brittle at a red heat, so that it is very liable to be torn by the aeolotachic contraction in cooling from the molten state; and it has no good effects to offset these. Hence the sulphur present is, except in certain rare cases, simply that which the metallurgist has been unable to remove. The sulphur-content should not exceed O'I2 %, and it is better that it should not exceed 0-08% in castings which have to be soft enough to be machined, nor 0-05 % in thin castings the metal for which must be very fluid. 118. Influence of Manganese.-Manganese in many cases, but not in all, opposes the formation of graphite and thus hardens the iron, and it lessens the red shortness (§ 40), which sulphur causes, iby leading to the formation of the less harmful manganese sulphide instead of the more harmful iron sulphide. Hence the manganese content needed increases with the sulphur-content which has to be endured. In the better classes of castings it is usually between 0-40 and 0-70'f., , and in chilled railroad car-wheels it may well be between 0-15 and 0-30 %; but skilful founders, confronted with the task of making use of cast iron rich in manganese, have succeeded in making good grey iron castings with even as much as 2-20 2/Q, of this element.

Ili). Influence of Phosphorus.—Phosphorus has, along with its great merit of giving fiuidity, the grave defect of causing brittleness, especially under shock. Fortunately its embrittling effect on cast iron is very much less than on steel, so that the upper limit or greatest tolerable proportion of phosphorus, instead of being O'I0 or better 0~08'?2, as in the case of rail steel, may be put at 0-50% in case of machinery castings even if they are exposed to moderate sh<~<-ks; at 1-60 % for gas and water mains in spite of the gravity of the disasters which extreme brittleness here might cause; and even higher for castings which are not exposed to shock, and are so thin that the iron of which they are made must needs be very fluid. The permissible phosphorus-content is lessened by the presence of either much sulphur or much manganese, and by rapid cooling, as for instance in case of thin castings, because each of these three things, by leading to the formation of the brittle cementite, in itself creates brittleness which aggravates that caused by phosphorus. izo. Dcfccls in Steel Ingots:-Steel ingots and other steel castings are subject to three kinds of defects so serious as to deserve notice here. They are known as “ piping, ” “ blowholes ” and " segregation.”

121. Piping.-ln an early period of the solidification of a molten steel ingot cast in a cold iron mould we may distinguish three parts: (1) the outer layers, i.e. the outermost of the now solid metal; (2) the inner layers, i.e. the remainder of the solid metal; and (3) the molten lake, i.e. the part which still is molten. At this instant the outer layers, because of their contact with the cold mould, are cooling much faster than the inner ones, and hence tend to contract faster. But this excess of their contraction is resisted by the almost incompressible inner layers so that the outer layers are prevented from contracting as much as they naturally would if unopposed, and they are thereby: virtually stretched. Later on the D sfrsst p 829

cooling of the inner layers becomes more rapid than that of the outer ones, and on this account their contraction tends to become greater than that of the outer ones. Because the outer and inner ayers are integrally united, this excess of contraction of the inner layers makes them draw outward towards and against the outer layers, and because of their thus drawing outward the molten lake within no longer suffices to fill completely the central space, so that its upper surface begins to sink. This ebb continues, and, combined with the progressive narrowing of the molten lake as more and more 'of it solidi lies and joins the shore layers, gives rise to the pipe, a cavity like an inverted pear, as shown at C in fig. 29. Because this pipe is due to the difference in the rates of contraction of interior and exterior, it may be lessened by retarding the cooling of the mass as a whole, and it may be prevented from stretching down deep by retarding the solidification of the upper part of the ingot, as, for instance, by preheating the top of the mould, or by -~1—*~f'” '~" covering the ingot with a mass of burning fuel or of molten slag. This keeps the upper part of the mass molten, so that it continues to flow down and feed the pipe during the. early part of its formation in the lower and quicker- =;1I'f?F=€i5', ;~l '->':§ »-icooling part of the ingot. In making castings of steel this same difficulty arises; and much of the steel-founder's skill consists either in preventing these pipes, or in so placing them that they shall not occur in the finished casting, or at least not in a harmful position. In making armour-plates from steel ingots, as much as 40'% of the metal may be rejected as unsound from this cause. An ingot

should always stand u ri ht while solidif in

FIG 29.-Di8-

gram showing how

a Pipe is formed.

A, S u pe rficial

- - P S ' Y Lg, blowholes.

so that the unsound region due to the pipe B, Deepgeated may readily be cut off, leaving the rest of blowhole the 1ngot splid. If the ingot lay on its side C, Pipe while sohdifymg, the pipe would occur as shown in fig. 30, and nearly the whole of the ingot would. be unsound.,

122. Bla-whales.-Iron, like water and many other substances, has a higher solvent power for gases, such as hydrogen and nitrogen, when molten, Le. liquid, than when frozen, Le. solid. Hence in the act of solidifying it expels any excess of gas which it has dissolved while liquid, and this gas becomes entangled in the freezing mass, causing gas bubbles or blowholes, as at A and B in fig. 29. Because the volume of the pipe represents the excess of the contraction of the inner walls and the molten lake jointly over that of the outer walls, between the time when the lake begins to ebb and the time when even the axial metal is too firm to be drawn further open by this contraction, the space occupied by blowholes must, by compensating for part of this excess, lessen the size of the pipe, so that the more

FIG. 30.-Diagram showing a Pipe so formed as to render Ingot unsound.

abundant and larger the blowholes are, the smaller will the pipe be. The interior surface of a blowhole which lies near the outer crust of the ingot, as at A in fig. 29, is liable to become oxidized by the diffusion of the atmospheric oxygen, in which case it can hardly be completely welded later, since welding implies actual Contact of metal with metal; it thus forms a permanent flaw. But deep seated blowholes like those at B are relatively harmless in lowearbon easily welding steel, because the subsequent operation of forging or rolling usually obliterates them by welding their sides firmly together.

Blowholes may be lessened or even wholly prevented by adding to the molten metal shortly before it solidifies either silicon or aluminium, or both; even as little as 0-002 2-1, of aluminium is

usually sufficient. These additions seem to act in part by deoxidizing the minute quantity of iron oxide and carbonic oxide present, in part by increasing the solvent power of the metal for gas, so that even after freezing it can retain in solution the gas which it had dissolved when molten. But, because preventing blowholes increases the volume of the pipe, it is often better to allow them to form, but to control their position, so that they shall be deep-seated. This is done chiefly by casting the steel at a relatively low temperature, and by limiting the quantity of manganese and silicon which it contains. Brinell finds that, for certain normal conditions, if the sum of the percentage of manganese plus 5-2 times that of the