Metallurgical studies of locally produced and imported low carbon steel rods on the Ghanaian Market.

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February, 2010.
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The objective of the research was to undertake a comparative metallurgical study of locally produced and imported iron rods on the Ghanaian market. The iron rods were cut, 40 cm for tensile test, 2.5 cm for microstructural studies and 2.5 cm for elemental analysis. The rod samples of length 40 cm and diameter 19 mm were machined at the mid portions to diameters of 14 mm.The samples were then subjected to tensile loading in an Avery Hydraulic Tensile testing machine. The loads were read from a dial on the machine and the extensions with a set of pre-gauged callipers. The average ultimate tensile strength of the local rods was 535±14 MPa and 455±23 MPa for the imported rods. These values compared well with the standard values of 400 MPa to 1860 MPa for low carbon steels. The toughness test was carried out in two ways: by finding the percentage elongation and the area under the stress-strain curve. The imported rods had an average value of 30.0±0.2 % elongation and 23.9±1.1 % elongation for the local rods. These values fall within the range of the standard values of 4 % to 40 %. From the area under the curve, the imported and locally rods had values of 101.1±2.67 MJ/m3 and 87.7±4.2 MJ/m3 respectively, making the imported rods tougher than the local rods. The Young’s modulus for the local rods and imported rods were 16.3±0.4 GPa and 10.9±0.5 GPa respectively. The hardness value for the local rods was 239±9 BHN and 176±2 BHN for the imported rods. The local rods were stronger and harder than the imported rods. However the imported rods were more ductile and tougher than the local rods. The difference in the mechanical properties and behaviour were attributed to the difference in the microstructure as a result of the processing methods used, manganese and phosphorus content.
A thesis submitted to the department of Physics, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science on