The service life of roller bearings is extremely sensitive to large and hard nonmetallic inclusions (NMIs), requesting the highest standards in their production. To determine the metallurgical possibilities, the effect of Al2O3 contents between 0 and 33 pct in the remelting slag was investigated by remelting a roller bearing steel in an experimental electroslag remelting (ESR) plant. Thereby, changes in the chemical composition of the materials (electrode vs ingots) and in the remelting slag during remelting, as well as the amount and composition of the NMIs prior to and after remelting, were investigated. Changes in the chemical composition can largely be explained by equilibrium reactions between the slag and the metal, thereby low Al contents in the remelted materials could only be achieved with the lowest Al2O3 contents in the slag. Furthermore, higher Al2O3 contents in the slag also lead to higher oxygen and sulfur contents in the steel as well as higher amounts of NMIs after remelting. The composition of the NMIs changed from alumina type for high Al2O3 contents to spinel type and other mixed MgO-SiO2 oxides for low Al2O3 contents. The results indicate solutions for the production of bearing steels with the lowest amounts of undesired large and hard NMIs.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2020|