Event Title

Refinement of the Cast Microstructure of Hypereutectic Aluminum-Silicon Alloys with an Applied Electric Potential

Location

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

Start Date

10-4-2012 3:30 PM

Description

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Hypereutectic aluminum-silicon (Al-Si) alloys are widely used in the aerospace and automobile industries because of their low density, excellent wear and corrosion resistance, low coefficient of thermal expansion, good strength, and excellent castability. They are used in applications that typically require a combination of light weight and high wear resistance, such as liner-less engine blocks, pistons, and pumps. However, the performance of these alloys depends on the fineness of their cast microstructure, especially dendrite cell size, primary and eutectic Si particles. METHODS AND MATERIALS: In this study, the effects of applied electric current on the cast microstructure of Al-13 wt.%Si and Al-20 wt.%Si were investigated. This involved application of an electric current density of about 500 mA/cm2 of melt surface area during solidification of laboratory-size ingots in a metal mold. The electric current was applied with a constant voltage power supply. RESULTS: Microscopic examination of the cast ingots with a metallurgical microscope revealed that the applied electric refined the cast microstructure of the hypereutectic Al-Si alloys. Specifically, it appeared that the electric current slightly modified the eutectic silicon particles and changed the size distribution of the primary silicon particles by increasing the population of comparatively smaller size particles. CONCLUSIONS: The extent of the observed cast microstructure refinement was less than the reported effects of applied electric current in technical literature. It was also significantly less than the effects of traditional refinement obtained by addition of strontium and phosphorus to the molten hypereutectic Al-Si alloys prior to casting.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 10th, 3:30 PM

Refinement of the Cast Microstructure of Hypereutectic Aluminum-Silicon Alloys with an Applied Electric Potential

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Hypereutectic aluminum-silicon (Al-Si) alloys are widely used in the aerospace and automobile industries because of their low density, excellent wear and corrosion resistance, low coefficient of thermal expansion, good strength, and excellent castability. They are used in applications that typically require a combination of light weight and high wear resistance, such as liner-less engine blocks, pistons, and pumps. However, the performance of these alloys depends on the fineness of their cast microstructure, especially dendrite cell size, primary and eutectic Si particles. METHODS AND MATERIALS: In this study, the effects of applied electric current on the cast microstructure of Al-13 wt.%Si and Al-20 wt.%Si were investigated. This involved application of an electric current density of about 500 mA/cm2 of melt surface area during solidification of laboratory-size ingots in a metal mold. The electric current was applied with a constant voltage power supply. RESULTS: Microscopic examination of the cast ingots with a metallurgical microscope revealed that the applied electric refined the cast microstructure of the hypereutectic Al-Si alloys. Specifically, it appeared that the electric current slightly modified the eutectic silicon particles and changed the size distribution of the primary silicon particles by increasing the population of comparatively smaller size particles. CONCLUSIONS: The extent of the observed cast microstructure refinement was less than the reported effects of applied electric current in technical literature. It was also significantly less than the effects of traditional refinement obtained by addition of strontium and phosphorus to the molten hypereutectic Al-Si alloys prior to casting.