Results of a research on influence of chromium, molybdenum and aluminium on structure and selected mechanical properties of Ni-Mn-Cu cast iron in the as-cast and heat-treated conditions are presented. All raw castings showed austenitic matrix with relatively low hardness, making the material machinable. Additions of chromium and molybdenum resulted in higher inclination to hard spots. However, a small addition of aluminium slightly limited this tendency. Heat treatment consisting in soaking the castings at 500 °C for 4 h resulted in partial transformation of austenite to acicular, carbon-supersaturated ferrite, similar to the bainitic ferrite. A degree of this transformation depended not only on the nickel equivalent value (its lower value resulted in higher transformation degree), but also on concentrations of Cr and Mo (transformation degree increased with increasing total concentration of both elements). The castings with the highest hard spots degree showed the highest hardness, while hardness increase, caused by heat treatment, was the largest in the castings with the highest austenite transformation degree. Addition of Cr and Mo resulted in lower thermodynamic stability of austenite, so it appeared a favourable solution. For this reason, the castings containing the highest total amount of Cr and Mo with an addition of 0.4% Al (to reduce hard spots tendency) showed the highest tensile strength.
Austenitization is the first step of heat treatment preceding the isothermal quenching of ductile iron in austempered ductile iron (ADI) manufacturing. Usually, the starting material for the ADI production is ductile iron with more convenient pearlitic matrix. In this paper we present the results of research concerning the austenitizing of ductile iron with ferritic matrix, where all carbon dissolved in austenite must come from graphite nodules. The scope of research includedcarrying out the process of austenitization at 900o Cusing a variable times ranging from 5 to 240minutes,and then observations of the microstructure of the samples after different austenitizing times. These were supplemented with micro-hardness testing. The research showed that the process of saturating austenite with carbon is limited by the rate of dissolution of carbon from nodular graphite precipitates.