Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 388-394

First online:

Behavior of Boron in Molten Aluminum and its Grain Refinement Mechanism

  • Houshang D. AlamdariAffiliated withDepartment of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Laval University Email author 
  • , Dominique DubéAffiliated withDepartment of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Laval University
  • , Pascal TessierAffiliated withAir Liquide Research and Development, Delaware Research and Technology Center


The mechanism of heterogeneous grain refining of aluminum by ultrafine elemental boron particles was investigated. In order to facilitate the observation of the boron-aluminum interface, a boron filament was introduced in a melt at 1013 K (740 °C) containing different levels of Ti. The Al/B interface was studied using transmission electron microscopy and different phases were identified using the electron diffraction method. The experimental results showed that boron is dissolved in pure aluminum while its dissolution is inhibited in presence of titanium solute. A thin layer of TiB2 formed at the surface of boron thickens with residence time in the melt. The mechanisms by which aluminum is crystallized on boron are discussed.