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Decarburization and It’s Significance

What’s the significance of ‘Decarburization’?

Decarburization is a reduction process, specifically of the carbon content present in the steel. Decarburization occurs when steel warms up beyond the lower limit of its recrystallization temperature, i.e., at 700 degrees Celsius. Also, at this elevated temperature, steel gets exposed to hydrogen and oxygen. Carbon steel binds to those gasses and leaves the steel at a reduced level. Since the gasses are only in contact with the steel’s surface, decarburization generally occurs most heavily on the outermost layers of steel—the carbon reduction results in tensile strength, fatigue strength, and hardness.
These effects are focus on the surface of the metal. It is worth noting that equipment failure is rarely a direct result of decarburization. However, most industry personnel perceive the process as a significant problem that has unfavourable effects on steel elements’ fatigue life and may suggest a more severe underlying problem.

What is the meaning of ‘Intended Decarburization’?

Unintentional Decarburization is harmful to steel, but there are times when purposeful Decarburization has benefits. During Decarburization, when the carbon content is low, and the surface of steel hardness decreases, it enhances machinability. Decarburization, improving machinability results in improved formability on the steel surface.

What are ways to prevent Decarburization?

Decarburization can be harmful, but it can be easily controlled or removed. One way to prevent decarburization is to evade the process from reaching its recrystallization temperature. Decarburization contains the carbon’s ability to migrate from the steel surface to the ambient gases because steel must sometimes heat to this temperature. Another method for decarburization prevention is to flood the steel surroundings with gases that react to the carbon. This prevention method’s popular gases include argon and nitrogen, although further research to determine which gas is best to use for a given application.

What are the measurements of Decarburization?

Decarburization cannot be appropriately inspected simply by visual means on its own. Proper tools are useful for the accurate determination of the amount of decarburization that steel has undergone. One quick method for measuring decarburization is to measure the hardness of steel. If possible, doing this before and after thermal processing will show how much decarburization has occurred by comparing the hardness differences. Cutting a specimen, polishing it, and then viewing it under a microscope is another way of accurately depicting the amount of decarburization that has occurred. This method also shows the depth of decarburization of the observer.

What is the reason behind Decarburization?

Decarburization occurs at high temperatures (usually at or above 700′). Carbon is a release from the metal at this temperature. The metal is more susceptible to hydrogen and oxygen gas absorption; the carbon diffusion rate increases with rising temperatures. It can lead to more severe problems, such as a high-temperature hydrogen attack and a flare-up of hydrogen.

What are the uses of Decarburization?

Decarburization is beneficial in several applications. Those applications include electrical steel production, stainless steel production, grain boundary segregation of plain carbon steel, and nitride steels’ microstrucsture analysis.

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