Effect of antimony surface treatment on nitrogen absorption during batch annealing of an electrical steel sheet

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Nitrogen absorption is usually observed during batch-type hot-band annealing of electrical steel sheets containing aluminium. This nitrogenizing causes the deterioration of magnetic properties, such as core loss and induction. In order to prevent nitrogenizing, we investigate an antimony treatment on the hot strip surface of electrical steel sheets containing aluminium. Potassium antimonyl tartrate and colloidal antimony oxides (Sb2O5) are effective against nitrogenizing. It seems that active sites on the surface of the hot strip after pickling are covered with antimony oxides to block the adsorption of nitrogen. Magnetic properties, after cold-rolling and continuous annealing of the nitrogenizing hot band, deteriorate due to small grains near the surface whose boundaries are pinned by aluminium nitrides.

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