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Abstract

Silicon – molybdenum cast iron commonly called SiMo due to its unique properties has becoming more and more interesting engineering material. The history and development of this alloy is relatively long but, due to the significant difficulties during the manufacturing process resulting in the lower final quality than expected, it has not been applied to often in practice. The biggest challenge is its brittleness as a result of the carbides precipitations. During last few years, thanks to the many important researches made and the general foundry technology development, the interest in SiMo iron has been rapidly growing, especially for the castings for heavy duty applications like corrosion, high temperature and wear abrasion resistant parts. In the article the heat treatment attempts to improve the microstructure of SiMo castings has been presented. The goal was to destroy or at least to refine and uniformly distribute the carbides precipitations to improve mechanical properties of the exhaust manifold castings for the cars. The experiments were carried out for the alloy contains approx. 4% Si, 1% Mo and 3.2%C. The range of the research included: hardness measuring, standard mechanical properties and microstructure for as-cast state and after that the subsequent heat treatment process with another properties check. The result of the heat treatment was the elimination of pearlite from the metal matrix. Moreover, the changes of the carbide molybdenum – rich phase morphology were observed. The dispersion of the carbides precipitations in the carbides area was observed. The experiments proved the possibility to control the microstructure and the mechanical properties of the SiMo castings by means of heat treatment but only to some extent.
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