, Volume 40, Issue 9, pp 2202-2211

Solidification of Al-Sn-Cu Based Immiscible Alloys under Intense Shearing

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The growing importance of Al-Sn based alloys as materials for engineering applications necessitates the development of uniform microstructures with improved performance. Guided by the recently thermodynamically assessed Al-Sn-Cu system, two model immiscible alloys, Al-45Sn-10Cu and Al-20Sn-10Cu, were selected to investigate the effects of intensive melt shearing provided by the novel melt conditioning by advanced shear technology (MCAST) unit on the uniform dispersion of the soft Sn phase in a hard Al matrix. Our experimental results have confirmed that intensive melt shearing is an effective way to achieve fine and uniform dispersion of the soft phase without macro-demixing, and that such dispersed microstructure can be further refined in alloys with precipitation of the primary Al phase prior to the demixing reaction. In addition, it was found that melt shearing at 200 rpm and 60 seconds will be adequate to produce fine and uniform dispersion of the Sn phase, and that higher shearing speed and prolonged shearing time can only achieve minor further refinement.

Manuscript submitted February 16, 2009.