A eutectic reaction is a basic liquid-solid transformation, which can be used in the fabrication of high-strength in situ composites. In this study an attempt was made to ensure directional solidification of Fe-C-V alloy with hypereutectic microstructure. In this alloy, the crystallisation of regular fibrous eutectic and primary carbides with the shape of non-faceted dendrites takes place. According to the data given in technical literature, this type of eutectic is suitable for the fabrication of in-situ composites, owing to the fact that a flat solidification front is formed accompanied by the presence of two phases, where one of the phases can crystallise in the form of elongated fibres. In the present study an attempt was also made to produce directionally solidifying vanadium eutectic using an apparatus with a very high temperature gradient amounting to 380 W/cm at a rate of 3 mm/h. Alloy microstructure was examined in both the initial state and after directional solidification. It was demonstrated that the resulting microstructure is of a non-homogeneous character, and the process of directional solidification leads to an oriented arrangement of both the eutectic fibres and primary carbides.
High-vanadium cast iron is the white cast iron in which the regular fibrous γ + VC eutectic with the volume fraction of vanadium carbide amounting to about 20% crystallises. This paper presents the results of studies on high-vanadium cast iron subjected to the inoculation treatment with magnesium master alloy. The aim of this operation is to change the morphology of the crystallising VC carbides from the fibrous shape into a spheroidal one. The study also examines the effect of the amount of the introduced inoculant on changes in the morphology of the crystallising VC carbides. To achieve the goals once set, metallographic studies were performed on high-vanadium cast iron of eutectic composition in base state and after the introduction of a variable content of the inoculant. The introduction of magnesium-based master alloy resulted in the expected changes of microstructure. The most beneficial effect was obtained with the introduction of 1.5% of magnesium master alloy, since nearly half of the crystallised vanadium carbides have acquired a spheroidal shape.
Cast Hadfield steel is characterised by high abrasion resistance, provided, however, that it is exposed to the effect of dynamic loads. During abrasion without loading, e.g. under the impact of loose sand jet, its wear resistance drops very drastically. To increase the abrasion resistance of this alloy under the conditions where no pressure is acting, primary vanadium carbides are formed in the metallurgical process, to obtain a composite structure after the melt solidification. The primary, very hard, carbides uniformly distributed in the austenitic matrix are reported to double the wear resistance of samples subjected to the effect of a silicon carbide-water mixture.