Spheroidite


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Spheroidite - short version

Microstructure found in steel alloys consisting of sphere-like cemetite particles within an a-ferrite matrix. It is produced by an appropriate elevated-temperature heat treatment of pearlite, bainite, or martensite, and is relatively soft.



Spheroidite - long version

Spheroidite forms when carbon steel is heated to approximately 700 °C for over 30 hours. Spheroidite can form at lower temperatures but the time needed drastically increases, as this is a diffusion-controlled process. The result is a structure of rods or spheres of cementite within primary structure (ferrite or pearlite, depending on which side of the eutectoid you are on). The purpose is to soften higher carbon steels and allow more formability. This is the softest and most ductile form of steel.



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