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Open AccessReview

Roles of Lanthanum and Cerium in Grain Refinement of Steels during Solidification

by Yunping Ji 1,2, Ming-Xing Zhang 3 and Huiping Ren 1,2,*
1
School of Material and Metallurgy, Inner Mongolia University of Science and Technology, Baotou 014010, China
2
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200072, China
3
School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2018, 8(11), 884; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8110884
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 23 October 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
Refinement of as-cast structures is one of the most effective approaches to improve mechanical properties, formability, and surface quality of steel castings and ingots. In the past few decades, addition of rare earths (REs), lanthanum and cerium in particular, has been considered as a practical and effective method to refine the as-cast steels. However, previous reports contained inconsistent, sometime even contradictory, results. This review summaries the major published results on investigation of the roles of lanthanum or/and cerium in various steels, provides reviews on the similarity and difference of previous studies, and clarifies the inconsistent results. The proposed mechanisms of grain refinement by the addition of lanthanum or/and cerium are also reviewed. It is concluded that the grain refinement of steels by RE additions is attributed to either heterogeneous nucleation on the in-situ formed RE inclusions, a solute effect, or the combined effect of both. The models/theories for evaluation of heterogeneous nucleation potency and for solute effect on grain refinement of cast metals are also briefly summarized. View Full-Text
Keywords: lanthanum; cerium; steel; solidification; grain refinement; heterogeneous nucleation; solute role lanthanum; cerium; steel; solidification; grain refinement; heterogeneous nucleation; solute role
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Ji, Y.; Zhang, M.-X.; Ren, H. Roles of Lanthanum and Cerium in Grain Refinement of Steels during Solidification. Metals 2018, 8, 884.

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