What is the crystal structure of super bainite?

10 July 2012

Question

What is the crystal structure of super bainite?

Answer

Harry - There's actually two kinds of crystals. One in which the atoms are arranged at the corners of a cube with a single atom in the centre of the cube, so we call that body-centred cubic and the other one where you still have the atoms at the corners of a cube, but also at the centres of their faces, and that's a face-centred cubic crystal structure.

Ben - So that would be like looking at a die where every surface just has a one. So it's impossible to roll a 6 because they're all just ones.

Harry - Correct.

Ben - And what is it about those structures that give them their properties?

Harry - The body-centred one is very strong, but is not as tough as the face-centred cubic. So if you combine them, then you have the ability to absorb energy as well as be strong.

Ben - And so, what is it that actually causes these structures to form when you've got it in your pizza oven for however long?

Harry - First, we go to 1,000 degrees centigrade where everything is face-centred cubic and at 200 degrees centigrade, the body-centred cubic form is favoured so it grows inside the face-centred cubic form.

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