The influence of sodium (Na) on nucleation and growth of the Al-Si eutectic in a commercial hypoeutectic Al-Si-Cu-Mg foundry alloy has been investigated. The microstructural evolution during eutectic solidification was studied by a quenching technique. By comparing the orientation of the aluminium in the eutectic to that of the surrounding primary aluminium dendrites by EBSD, the eutectic solidification mode could be determined. The results show that the eutectic solidification starts near the mould wall and evolves with front growth opposite the thermal gradient on a macro-scale, and on a micro-scale with independent heterogeneous nucleation of eutectic grains in interdendritic spaces. Na-modified alloys therefore behave significantly differently from those modified by other elemental additions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering