Microstructures of electro-carburised mild steels

Nancy Julius Siambun, Di Hu, George Zheng Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The molten carbonate salts based electro-carburisation process, as reported here, is non-toxic, environment friendly, cheaper than the cyanide based techniques and highly effective in turning mild steels into a more valuable metal. The effectiveness of the electro-carburisation process was investigated by microstructure analysis. The sample was ground, polished and then etched in a 2 % nital solution. Examinations of the microstructural changes in the etched samples by SEM-BSE and microscope (500X magnification) revealed the distribution of carbon throughout the electrocarburised mild steel. The changes were typically represented by two phases, namely, the brighter areas resulting from the ferrite phase (iron rich), and the darker areas indicating the presence of carbon in the pearlite phase which were consisted of alternate stripes of ferrite and cementite (carbon rich). These microstructural features, particularly the ferrite and pearlite regions, were found to be affected by the cell voltages applied during electro-carburisation and the type of molten salts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolten Salts and Ionic Liquids 17
PublisherElectrochemical Society Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781607681762
ISBN (Print)9781566778268
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event17th International Symposium on Molten Salts and Ionic Liquids - 218th ECS Meeting - Las Vegas, NV, United States
Duration: 10 Oct 201015 Oct 2010

Publication series

NameECS Transactions
ISSN (Print)1938-5862
ISSN (Electronic)1938-6737


Conference17th International Symposium on Molten Salts and Ionic Liquids - 218th ECS Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas, NV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Microstructures of electro-carburised mild steels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this