Cast Iron Research
The work at the Foundry Institute of RWTH Aachen University focuses on the correlation of process - microstructure - properties. By means of statistical and numerical experimental design, the processes are specifically designed to produce defined microstructures. The microstructures are first characterized comprehensively and automatically with regard to graphite, pearlite and carbide content using various etching methods, and further analysis methods such as EDX, EBSD, FIB or even TEM are used as required. Due to the availability of a 250 kg and a 70 kg melting unit, the metallurgical process control can be varied with different melt cleaning, Mg treatment and inoculation methods. Process variations are currently being carried out to investigate the influence of alloying, accompanying and interfering elements, as well as the influence of different cooling conditions, different inoculation technologies and with regard to mold-melt reactions. The defined microstructures are correlated with static, cyclic and dynamic properties in cooperation with the research institutes IEHK & IWM of RWTH Aachen University and Fraunhofer LBF, among others. Under the following points, completed and ongoing projects since 2015 are briefly outlined.