Journal of Materials Research and Technology Journal of Materials Research and Technology
J Mater Res Technol 2018;7:283-99 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmrt.2018.04.003
Review Article
Non-metallic inclusions in steels – origin and control
André Luiz Vasconcellos da Costa e Silva
EEIMVR-UFF, Volta Redonda, RJ, Brazil
Received 11 January 2018, Accepted 19 April 2018
Abstract

Non-metallic inclusions (NMIs) play a key role in many important properties of steel, influencing both processing and application of steel products. In this work, the current understanding of the origin and classification of NMIs is reviewed, highlighting the dramatic development of the last decades. This includes the discussion of the thermodynamics of inclusion formation and the current knowledge on the effects of melt shop processing variable on NMIs composition, amount and size distribution. The development of inclusion engineering – tailoring the process to obtain the desired NMIs is highlighted and the development in selected areas – tire cord, springs and bearing steels as well as prevention of nozzle clogging – is used to illustrate this development. The promising field of “oxide metallurgy” is also discussed in the context of inclusion engineering. Finally, the difficulties in meaningfully characterizing and quantifying NMIs are briefly commented. In summary it is concluded that inclusion control in steels has evolved significantly in the last decades. This is due to the progress in understanding the interplay between thermodynamics, steel and slag chemical composition as well as melt shop processing. This made possible the tailoring of non-metallic inclusions via processing, to optimize steel properties. Nonetheless, some important problems remain and must still be solved to improve inclusion control and optimization.

Keywords
Non-metallic inclusions, Ladle metallurgy, Steelmaking, Computational thermodynamics, Kinetics
J Mater Res Technol 2018;7:283-99 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmrt.2018.04.003
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