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Cementite or iron carbide is a chemical compound with the formula Fe3C, and an orthorhombic crystal structure. It is a hard, brittle material, normally classified as a ceramic in its pure form, though it is more important in metallurgy.
Additional recommended knowledge
It forms directly from the melt in the case of white cast iron. In carbon steel, it either forms from austenite during cooling or from martensite during tempering. It mixes with ferrite, the other product of austenite, to form lamellar structures called pearlite and bainite. Much larger lamellae, visible to the naked eye, make up the structure of Damascus steel, though the process has been lost to history (see article for information on attempted reconstruction of the process).
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cementite". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|