Valves are among the most important components in an engine. They regulate both the intake of air and fuel for the combustion process and the discharge of the exhaust gases generated in the combustion chamber. Exhaust valves, run much hotter than intake valves (which are cooled by the incoming fuel:air mixture) and must withstand the corrosive effects of hot exhaust gases and the weakening effects of high temperatures. Consequently, a premium valve material is an absolute must on the exhaust side. In addition to the use of specially developed materials, the exhaust valve is also carburised to produce a layer 500µm in thickness. This is performed by heating valves, surrounded by graphite, which produces a constant surface concentration. If it is assumed that the graphite concentration at the surface is kept constant, and that the alloy is 1040 carbon steel, select an appropriate carburising time and temperature and surface concentration that will produce the eutectoid composition at a depth of 200µm below the surface, while ensuring that the hardness at a depth of 500µm does not exceed 200 brinell.
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