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Heavy steel castings deoxidized with aluminium are sometimes brittle intercrystalline failed during their service along primary grain boundaries what is initiated by aluminium nitrides and so called conchoidal fractures are formed. The tendency to forming the conchoidal fractures depends in particular on cooling rate (the casting modulus), aluminium and nitrogen contents in steel. During deoxidation, when manufacturing heavy castings, the elements with high affinity to nitrogen, zirconium or titanium, are added to steel that would decrease nitrogen activity by the bond on stable nitrides. The formation of stable nitrides should reduce the tendency of steel to the formation of conchoidal fractures. Deoxidation was thermodynamically analyzed at presence of the mentioned elements. For particular conditions a probable course of deoxidation was estimated at test castings. The deoxidation course was checked by microanalysis of deoxidation products (inclusions). For service and experimental castings the anticipated composition of inclusions was compared. It has been proved that in heavy castings with high aluminium contents in steel under studied conditions neither the addition of zirconium nor of titanium nor of rare earth metals will prevent the formation of conchoidal fractures.
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