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  FERROUS   Ferro Alloys   Ferro Silicon  
Ferro Silicon

         SILICON is used as a deoxidizing (killing) agent in the melting of steel and as a result most steels contain a small percentage of Silicon.

         In cast iron Silicon is a very important element in the metallurgy of gray iron.  It increases fluidity and influences the solidification of the molten alloy.  The eutectic composition is shifted to the left approximately 0.3% carbon for each 1% silicon, which effectively depresses the temperature at which the alloy begins to solidify.  As the silicon content is increased, the austenite field decreases in area, the eutectoid carbon content is lowered, and the eutectoid transformation occurs over a groadening range. 

           Silicon is a graphitizer and if not counterbalanced by carbide-promoting elements, it favour solidification according to the stable iron-graphite system.  Therefore, during solidification in the presence of silicon, carbon is precipitated as primary graphite in the form of flakes.  Once primary graphite has formed, its shape cannot be altered by any method.  It is these weak graphite flakes that break up the continuity of the matrix and the notch effect at the end of these flakes that accounts for the low strength and low ductility of gray iron.

           The presence of silicon tends to throw the carbon out of combination or solution in the iron and make it form graphite.  In so doing, it reduces both the hardness and the shrinkage and decreases strength and density.  For the best mechanical properties with good resistance to pressure and wear carbon and silicon ratios must be decided in relation to each other.  That is the silicon must be decreased as the total carbon rises and vice versa, so as to maintain carbon equivalent values within the desired limits.


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Si C P Al  S
75-80% 0.2% max 0.05% max 0.1% max 0.5% max
75-80% 0.2% max 0.05% max 0.5% max 0.02 max
75-80% 0.2% max 0.05% max 1.0% max 0.02 max
75% min 0.2% max 0.05% max 1.5% max 0.02 max

Ferro Silicon - MSDS [0.03 MB]
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