The main objective of this industrially important work was to gain an increasing understanding of the properties of materials such as CMSX-4 nickel base super alloy, mould powder used in continuous casting of steel and coke used in blast furnace, with special reference to the thermal diffusivities. The measurements were carried out in a wide temperature range, solid, liquid, glassy and crystalline states.
For CMSX-4 alloy, the thermal conductivities were calculated from the experimental thermal diffusivities. Both the diffusivities and conductivities were found to increase with increasing temperature. Microscopic analysis showed the presence of intermetallic phases such as NiTi and NiTi2 below 1253 K. In this region, the mean free path of the phonons is likely to be limited by scattering against lattice defects. Between 1253 K and solidus temperature, these phases dissolved in the alloy adding to the impurities in the matrix, which, in turn, caused a decrease in the thermal diffusivity. This effect was confirmed by annealing the samples at 1573 K. The thermal diffusivities of the annealed samples measured at 1277, 1403 and 1531 K were found to be lower than the thermal diffusivities of non-annealed samples and the values did not show any noticeable change with time. It could be related to the attainment of equilibrium with the completion of the dissolution of γ and γ´ phases during the annealing process.
Liquid CMSX-4 does not show any change of thermal diffusivity with temperature. It may be attributed to the decreasing the mean free path being shorter than characteristic distance between two neighbouring atoms.
On the other hand thermal diffusivities of mould powder having glassy and crystalline states decrease with increasing temperature at lower temperature and are constant at higher temperature except for one glassy sample.
Analogously, the thermal diffusivity measurements of mould powder did not show any significant change with temperature in liquid state. It is likely to be due to the silicate network being largely broken down.
The thermal diffusivity is increased with increasing crystallisation degree of mould powder, which is expected from theoretical considerations.
The coke sample, taken from deeper level of the blast furnace, is found to have larger thermal diffusivity. This could be correlated to the average crystallite size along the structural c-axis, Lc, which is indicative of the higher degree of graphitisation. This was also confirmed by XRD measurements of the different coke samples. The degree of graphitisation was found to increase with increasing temperature. Further, XRD measurements of coke samples taken from different levels in the shaft of the blast furnace show that the graphitisation of coke was instantaneous between room temperature and 1473 K.
Stockholm: KTH , 2005. , x, 27 p.