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glossary term

Segregation

Non-uniformity of composition in steel caused by a separation of one or more of the elements during the solidification of an ingot. Since liquid steel is a solution of various elements in molten iron, some of these elements reach their freezing points before others as steel cools. Those elements with the lower melting point would segregate in the last portion of the ingot to solidify. Elements which segregate the most are carbon, phosphorous and sulfur, and as a result of this action, the analysis of an ingot increases from the bottom to the top and from the outside to the inside, particularly in the case of rimmed steel.

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