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This chapter discusses the formation of free carbides and their effect on case-carburized components. It explains how alloying elements influence the composition and structure of carbide phases produced at cooling rates typical of carburizing process. It describes the morphology and distribution of the various types of carbides formed and explains how they affect mechanical properties such as hardness, residual stresses, fatigue and fracture behaviors, and wear resistance. It also provides guidance for determining what processing conditions to avoid and when and why parts should be rejected.

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