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This chapter introduces the basic ferrous physical metallurgy principles that need to be understood by the metallographer. The discussion focuses on the variations in microstructures that are generated as a result of the phase transformations that occur during both heat treatment (as in steels) and solidification (as in cast irons). The chapter describes how the development of the iron-carbon phase diagram, coupled with the understanding of the kinetics of phase transformations through the use of isothermal transformation diagram, were breakthroughs in the advancement of ferrous physical metallurgy. Several examples of the morphological features of microstructural constituents in steels are also presented.

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Origin of Microstructure, Metallographer’s Guide: Practices and Procedures for Irons and Steels, By Bruce L. Bramfitt, Arlan O. Benscoter, ASM International, 2002, p 23–48,

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