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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 953828, 4 pages
Research Article

Solubility of Carbon in Nanocrystalline 𝛼 -Iron

Institute of Materials Science, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany

Received 24 February 2012; Accepted 3 May 2012

Academic Editor: Grégory Guisbiers

Copyright © 2012 Alexander Kirchner and Bernd Kieback. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A thermodynamic model for nanocrystalline interstitial alloys is presented. The equilibrium solid solubility of carbon in 𝛼 -iron is calculated for given grain size. Inside the strained nanograins local variation of the carbon content is predicted. Due to the nonlinear relation between strain and solubility, the averaged solubility in the grain interior increases with decreasing grain size. The majority of the global solubility enhancement is due to grain boundary enrichment however. Therefore the size effect on carbon solubility in nanocrystalline 𝛼 -iron scales with the inverse grain size.