The effects of strontium on the solidification mode of hypereutectic aluminium-silicon alloys have been studied. Samples were prepared from an aluminium-17wt% silicon-based alloy and strontium was added at several different concentrations. The development of the microstructure was investigated by cooling curve analysis, interrupted solidification experiments and optical and scanning electron microscopy. It was found that nucleation of primary silicon is suppressed by additions of strontium. The suppressed nucleation results in supersaturation of the liquid prior to nucleation, and an increased growth rate after nucleation. As a result, the silicon crystals become less faceted and more dendritic with increasing strontium additions. Increasing the strontium concentration slightly refined the eutectic spacing and introduced a small amount of fibrous silicon. Electron back-scatter diffraction measurements were performed to determine the crystallographic relation between the primary, and eutectic silicon phases. The eutectic silicon in the unmodified alloy does not have any crystallographic relationship with the primary silicon crystals. In contrast, the eutectic silicon crystals in the strontium-modified alloys often share an identical or twin relationship with nearby primary silicon crystals. The incidence of twinning within primary silicon crystals was relatively low and did not appear to increase with strontium additions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics