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Theoretical Aspects of Spinodal Decomposition in Fe-C

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  • B. Kim
  • J. Sietsma
  • M.J. Santofimia
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number3
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)1175–1184
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date3/01/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Carbon redistribution is known to occur during room temperature aging of Fe-C martensite. One of the proposed mechanisms in the literature by which carbon redistributes is spinodal decomposition, a thermodynamically driven reaction in which the alloy undergoes separation into carbon-rich and carbon-poor regions, giving rise to modulations in carbon concentration. Despite the substantial experimental evidence supporting the occurrence of spinodal decomposition in Fe-C, its theoretical formulation requires attention. In the present study, a theoretical framework based on the regular solution model is built for evaluating the thermodynamics of the Fe-C system, with particular emphasis on the interstitial nature of carbon atoms within the ferrite lattice. Assuming a defect-free lattice, the model explains a miscibility gap in the Fe-C system. The limitations of the current model are critically evaluated. © 2019, The Author(s).