A hard, brittle iron carbide present in cast iron and most steels.
- Chemical formula: Fe3C
- This cementite is hard (Brinell hardness 600 +), brittle and brilliantly white.
- The harder pearlite is comprised of alternating thin layers or shells of ferrite and cementite, a very hard substance.
- It has been shown how the difference in solubility of carbon in austenite and ferrite leads to the familiar ferrite / cementite aggregates in plain carbon steels.
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