Morphology and composition changes of spinel (MgAl2O4) inclusions in steel
In this study, spinel inclusions of close to stoichiometric MgO.Al2O3 composition and known size distribution were added to a liquid steel bath before assessing their reactivity. The inclusions were then tracked for changes in size, morphology and composition with time in an aluminium killed steel at 1600°C, by sampling of the melt followed by automatic SEM based inclusion analysis techniques. The majority of the inclusions in the melt were alumina and complex sulphide inclusions, with the added spinel inclusions being a small proportion of the total inclusions. The proportion of alumina inclusions increased with time. The spinel inclusions were found to be evenly distributed through the melt and there was little change in their average size during the reaction. However, the composition of the inclusions did change, with the Mg/Al mass-% ratio changing from approx. 0·5 to 0·08.