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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.
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