This study elucidates the effect of residual magnesium content and heating temperature on the thermal cyclic failure behaviour of ductile irons by applying repeated heating and cooling cycles. Five irons with different residual magnesium contents ranging from 0·038 to 0·066 wt-% were obtained by controlling the amount of nodulariser additions. The thermal fatigue cracking behaviour was investigated during thermal cycling from 25°C to 650, 700, 750, and 800°C, respectively. Experimental results indicate that the thermal fatigue cracking resistance of ductile iron decreases with increasing residual magnesium content. The maximum heating temperatures of 700°C and 750°C led to the most severe thermal fatigue cracking in the specimens containing 0·054 wt-% and 0·060 wt-% residual magnesium content. Recrystallisation of ferrite grain occurred when the thermal cycles exceeded a certain number after testing at 800°C, which deferred the initiation of thermal fatigue cracking.
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