Determination of the surface tension of liquid stainless steel


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Abstract

The surface tensions (σ) and temperature dependencies (dσ/dT) of several commercial 4-series ferritic stainless steels have been measured using the sessile drop technique on an Al2O3 plate over the temperature range 1789 to 1883 K in an atmosphere of high purity (PO2 < 10σ19 MPa) argon gas. Precise densities of liquid stainless steels have also been obtained using the modified sessile drop method in order to calculate accurate values of the surface tension. The surface tensions of liquid stainless steels decreased markedly with increasing sulphur concentration in the steels. The variation of surface tensions of liquid stainless steels can be described by the following equation σ = 1790 – 182 ln (1 + 260 aS) (mN/m) when only S is considered or σ = 1820 – 304 ln (1 + 383 aO) σ 182ln (1 + 260 aS) (mN/m) when both S and O are considered. The equations apply to the following compositional ranges: mass%O = 0.0022–0.0064, mass%S = 0.0008–0.05. The temperature coefficient of the surface tension (dσ/dT) of liquid stainless steel was found to change from negative to positive at a sulphur concentration of about 30 mass ppm in the steel. Nitrogen was found to have little effect on the surface tension of liquid stainless steel.

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