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Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 2323–2330 | Cite as

Nucleation Catalysis in Aluminum Alloy A356 Using Nanoscale Inoculants

  • Michael P. De Cicco
  • Lih-Sheng Turng
  • Xiaochun LiEmail author
  • John H. Perepezko
Article

Abstract

Different types of nanoparticles in aluminum (Al) alloy A356 nanocomposites were shown to catalyze nucleation of the primary Al phase. Nanoparticles of SiC β, TiC, Al2O3 α, and Al2O3 γ were added to and dispersed in the A356 matrix as nucleation catalysts using an ultrasonic mixing technique. Using the droplet emulsion technique (DET), undercoolings in the nanocomposites were shown to be significantly reduced compared to the reference A356. None of the nanocomposites had a population of highly undercooled droplets that were observed in the reference samples. Also, with the exception of the A356/Al2O3 α nanocomposite, all nanocomposites showed a reduction in undercooling necessary for the onset of primary Al nucleation. The observed nanocomposite undercoolings generally agreed with the undercooling necessary for free growth. The atomic structure of the particles showed an influence on nucleation potency as A356/Al2O3 γ nanocomposites had smaller undercoolings than A356/Al2O3 α nanocomposites. The nucleation catalysis illustrates the feasibility of, and basis for, grain refinement in metal matrix nanocomposites (MMNCs).

Keywords

Nanocomposite Sample TiB2 Particle High Undercoolings Free Growth Small Undercoolings 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael P. De Cicco
    • 1
  • Lih-Sheng Turng
    • 1
  • Xiaochun Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • John H. Perepezko
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA

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