, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 391–396 | Cite as

A New Perspective on the Nucleation, Growth Morphology and Modification of the Silicon Phase During the Formation of Eutectic Al-Si Grains

  • David StJohnEmail author
  • Stuart McDonald
  • Anilajaram Darlapudi
Aluminum: New Alloys and Heat Treatment


Modification of the Al-Si eutectic has two effects: converting the unmodified flake-like silicon to refined fibrous silicon and reducing the number of nucleation events, resulting in large eutectic grains. The first effect is beneficial by increasing strength and toughness, while the second may influence the formation of porosity and casting defects. These two effects are interconnected as they are both affected by the degree of undercooling required to nucleate silicon. In this analysis, we consider the role of constitutional supercooling in controlling the eutectic grain size in response to differences in the nucleation undercooling of the silicon phase due to strontium addition, and the constitutional effect of ternary copper additions. It is shown that increased nucleation undercooling simultaneously increases the eutectic grain size and its growth rate, while the addition of copper decreases the eutectic grain size in accordance with the Interdependence model.



The authors acknowledge the support of Australian Research Council Grants DP120101672 and DP140100702.


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© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing, School of Mining and Mechanical EngineeringThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

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