Stereological description of dispersed microstructure is not an easy task and remains the subject of continuous research. In its practical aspect, a correct stereological description of this type of structure is essential for the analysis of processes of coagulation and spheroidisation, or for studies of relationships between structure and properties. One of the most frequently used methods for an estimation of the density Nv and size distribution of particles is the Scheil - Schwartz – Saltykov method. In this article, the authors present selected methods for quantitative assessment of ductile iron microstructure, i.e. the Scheil - Schwartz – Saltykov method, which allows a quantitative description of three-dimensional sets of solids using measurements and counts performed on two-dimensional cross-sections of these sets (microsections) and quantitative description of three-dimensional sets of solids by X-ray computed microtomography, which is an interesting alternative for structural studies compared to traditional methods of microstructure imaging since, as a result, the analysis provides a three-dimensional imaging of microstructures examined.
A mathematical model of austenite - bainite transformation in austempered ductile cast iron has been presented. The model is based on a model developed by Bhadeshia [1, 2] for modelling the bainitic transformation in high-silicon steels with inhibited carbide precipitation. A computer program has been developed that calculates the incubation time, the transformation time at a preset temperature, the TTT diagram and carbon content in unreacted austenite as a function of temperature. Additionally, the program has been provided with a module calculating the free energy of austenite and ferrite as well as the maximum driving force of transformation. Model validation was based on the experimental research and literature data. Experimental studies included the determination of austenite grain size, plotting the TTT diagram and analysis of the effect of heat treatment parameters on the microstructure of ductile iron. The obtained results show a relatively good compatibility between the theoretical calculations and experimental studies. Using the developed program it was possible to examine the effect of austenite grain size on the rate of transformation.