Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Structural characteristics of a nickel-modified Al-20Si-3Cu-1Mg alloy powder

  • 69 Accesses

  • 9 Citations


An attempt has been made to characterize a new, complicated Al-20Si-7.5Ni-3Cu-1Mg alloy powder produced by air atomization as a means of rapid solidification and its structural evolutions during continuous heating, in order to provide basic information for further investigations on its deformation behaviour and properties. The characterization consisted of size measurements, morphological observations, structural and thermal analyses of bulk powder, and microstructural examinations of individual powder particles. It was observed that the powder had a wide size distribution and irregular shapes, which were closely related to its varying internal structures. X-ray diffractometry (XRD) showed little shift of the diffraction line from the aluminium matrix of the powder, but a significant broadening, which has been attributed partly to the non-uniformity of supersaturation in the matrix of the powder and partly to the strains caused by the silicon crystals in the material. A differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis revealed complex decomposition behaviour of the meta-stable aluminium matrix and transformations of nickel-bearing intermetallic compounds when heat was applied to the powder. XRD also showed that the meta-stable compounds formed in the powder did not match any known phases, and that they were transformed into Al3Ni, Al3(NiCu)2 and Al7Cu4Ni intermetallic dispersoids upon heating. The analyses also indicated that, due to the addition of nickel, some copper-containing phases, initially desired to create precipitation strengthening effects, no longer existed. This would diminish the ageing response of the alloy and probably change its category to be non-heat treatable — an important modification that has not yet been recognized by the alloy designers and users. Examinations on the powder particle sections showed variations in microstructure with powder particle size. Transitions in solidification mode within powder particles in accordance with local conditions of undercooling and heat extraction were also observed. The significant inhomogeneities in the microstructure of the powder have raised a problem to which special attention should be paid in both powder production and subsequent processing.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    K. Akechi, Y. Odani andN. Kuroishi,Sumitomo Electric Tech. Rev. 24 (1985) 191.

  2. 2.

    H. M. Skelly andC. F. Dixon,Int. J. Powder Metall. 7 (1971) 47.

  3. 3.

    J. Becker andG. Fischer, in Proceedings of the World Conference on Powder Metallurgy, London, July 1990, Vol. 3 (The Institute of Metals, London, 1990) p. 120.

  4. 4.

    H. Sano, K. Shibue, S. Yamauchi andS. Inumaru,Sumitomo Light Metal Tech. Rep. 26 (1985) 215.

  5. 5.

    N. Kuroishi, Y. Odani andY. Takeda,Metal Powder Report 40 (1985) 642.

  6. 6.

    J. Zhou, J. Duszczyk andB. M. Korevaar,J. Mater. Sci. 26 (1991) 5275.

  7. 7.

    T. Hirano andT. Fujita,J. Jpn Inst. Light Metals 37 (1987) 670.

  8. 8.

    T. Hirano, F. Ohmi, S. Horie, F. Kiyoto andT. Fujita, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Rapidly Solidified Material, San Diego, California, February 1986, edited by P. W. Lee and R. S. Carbonara (ASM, Metals Park, Ohio, 1986) p. 327.

  9. 9.

    K. Nagasaka,Nikkei Mechanical 3 (1989) 44.

  10. 10.

    J. Zhou, J. Duszczyk andB. M. Korevaar,J. Mater. Sci. 26 (1991) 824.

  11. 11.

    Idem., in Proceedings of the World Conference on Powder Metallurgy, London, July 1990, Vol. 2 (The Institute of Metals, London, 1990) p. 307.

  12. 12.

    Idem., J. Mater. Sci. 26 (1991) 3041.

  13. 13.

    L. F. Monldofo, in “Aluminium Alloys, Structure and Properties” (Butterworths, London, 1976) p. 604.

  14. 14.

    Y. Takeda, Y. Odani, T. Hayashi andK. Akechi, in Proceedings of the World Conference on Powder Metallurgy, London, July 1990, Vol. 1 (The Institute of Metals, London, 1990) p. 392.

  15. 15.

    F. Hehmann, Y. Bienvenu, M. Durand, B. Munar, U. Eilrich, K. Hummert, P. Lasne andC. Levaillant,ibid. (The Institute of Metals, London, 1990) p. 216.

  16. 16.

    Private Communication, Technical Research Laboratories, Summitomo Light Metal Industries Ltd, Nagóya, Japan, June 1989.

  17. 17.

    J. L. Estrada andJ. Duszczyk,J. Mater. Sci. 25 (1990) 886.

  18. 18.

    J. L. Estrada, Ph.D. thesis, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, 1990.

  19. 19.

    G. H. Tan andT. Sheppard,Powder Metall. 29 (1986) 143.

  20. 20.

    J. Zhou, J. Duszczyk andB. M. Korevaar,J. Mater. Sci. 26 (1991) 3292.

  21. 21.

    E. J. Mittemeijer, P. Van Mourik andTh. H. deKeijser,Phil. Mag. 43 (1981) 1157.

  22. 22.

    G. J. Marshall, E. K. Ioannidis andT. Sheppard,Metall. Trans. A 18A (1987) 407.

  23. 23.

    R. Delhez, Th. H. De Keijser, E. J. Mittemeijer, P. Van Mourik, N. M. Van Der Pers, L. Katgerman andW. E. Zalm,J. Mater. Sci. 17 (1982) 2887.

  24. 24.

    N. Apaydin andR. W. Smith,Mater. Sci. Eng. 98 (1988) 149.

  25. 25.

    M. Van Rooyen, Ph.D. thesis, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, 1988.

  26. 26.

    I. Yamauchi, I. Ohnaka, S. Kawamoto andT. Fukusako, in Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Rapidly Quenched Metals, Würzburg, Germany, September 1984, edited by S. Steeb and H. Warlimont, Vol. 1 (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1985) p. 1729.

  27. 27.

    K. F. Kobayashi andP. H. Shingu, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Aluminium Alloys — Their Physical and Mechanical Properties, Charlottesville, Virginia, June 1986, edited by E. A. Starke, Jr. and T. H. Sanders, Jr., Vol. 1 (Engineering Materials Advisory Services, Warley, West Midlands, 1986) p. 263.

  28. 28.

    A. Tonejc, D. Rocak andA. Bonefacic,Acta Metall. 19 (1971) 311.

  29. 29.

    K. Chattopadhyay, P. Ramachandrarao, S. Lele andT. R. Anantharaman, in Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Rapidly Quenched Metals, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, November 1975, edited by N. J. Grant and B. C. Giesen (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, 1976) p. 157.

  30. 30.

    J. H. Perepezko andD. U. Furrer, in Proceedings of a Symposium on Dispersion Strengthened Aluminium Alloys at the 1988 TMS Annual Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, January 1988, edited by Y. W. Kim and W. M. Griffith (TMS, Warrendale, Pennsylvania, 1988) p. 77.

  31. 31.

    J. Zhou andJ. Duszczyk, in Proceedings of the First European Conference on Advanced Materials and Processes, Aachen, Germany, November 1989, edited by E. Exner and V. Schumacher, Vol. 1 (DGM Informationsgesellschaft-Verlag, Oberursel, 1990) p. 241.

  32. 32.

    M. J. Starink, V. Jooris andP. Van Mourik, to be published in Proceedings of the 1st ASM Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, May 1991.

  33. 33.

    W. Bonfield andP. K. Datta,J. Mater. Sci. 11 (1976) 1661.

  34. 34.

    S. J. Paterson andT. Sheppard,Metals Technol. 9 (1982) 389.

  35. 35.

    D. L. W. Collins,J. Inst. Metals 86 (1957/58) 325.

  36. 36.

    J. W. Zindel, J. T. Stanley, R. D. Field andH. L. Fraser, in Proceedings of an ASTM Symposium on Rapidly Solidified Powder Aluminium Alloys, Philadelphia, April 1984, edited by M. E. Fine and E. A. Starke, Jr. (American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, 1986) p. 186.

  37. 37.

    T. Sheppard andM. A. Zaidi,Int. J. Rapid Solidification 2 (1986) 199.

  38. 38.

    W. J. Boettinger,Mater. Sci. Eng. 98 (1988) 123.

  39. 39.

    T. Sheppard andM. A. Zaidi,Mater. Sci. Technol. 2 (1986) 69.

  40. 40.

    M. A. Zaidi,Mater. Sci. Eng. 98 (1988) 221.

  41. 41.

    E. K. Ioannidis, G. J. Marshall andT. Sheppard,J. Mater. Sci. 23 (1988) 1486.

  42. 42.

    M. A. Zaidi andT. Sheppard,Mater. Sci. Technol. 3 (1987) 146.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Zhou, J., Duszczyk, J. & Korevaar, B.M. Structural characteristics of a nickel-modified Al-20Si-3Cu-1Mg alloy powder. J Mater Sci 27, 3341–3352 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01116035

Download citation


  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry
  • Supersaturation
  • Powder Particle
  • Al3Ni
  • Aluminium Matrix