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The control of the solidification process of cast iron requires understanding and control of the thermodynamics of the liquid and solid phases and of the kinetics of their solidification, including nucleation and growth. This article addresses issues that allow for the determination of probability of formation and relative stability of various phases. These include the influence of temperature and composition on solubility of various elements in iron-base alloys; calculation of solubility lines, relevant to the construction of phase diagrams; and calculation of activity of various components. It discusses the role of alloying elements in terms of their influence on the activity of carbon, which provides information on the stability of the main carbon-rich phases of iron-carbon alloys, that is, graphite and cementite. The article reviews the carbon solubility in multicomponent systems, along with saturation degree and carbon equivalent.

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