Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Smart Structures, School of Computing Engineering and Mathematics, Western Sydney University, Australia. His research interests cover Industry 4.0, Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Engineering Materials and Structures (Metals and Composites), Multi-scale Modelling of Materials and Structures, Metal Forming and Metal Surface Treatment.
Abstract—Aluminium castings have played an integral role in the industrial growth since their inception
during the late 19th century. Their early applications include domestic components, such as
cooking utensils, decorative parts, etc. These early applications rapidly expanded to address
the requirements of a wide range of engineering specifications, particularly, in automobile and
aerospace industries. In the present work, an attempt was made to modify the micro-structure
of Al-17.0Si-0.5 mg alloy by adding barium to the melt at 4.0% and 5.0% and the modified melts
were cast in sand moulds. The cooling conditions were varied for different experiments. Barium
metal additions refined the primary and eutectic silicon phases of Al-17.0Si-0.5 mg alloy through
simultaneous refinement of both primary and eutectic silicon morphology. Results clearly indicate
that barium metal in varying proportions at faster cooling rate exhibited remarkable refinement
over the existing methods of refinement for hyper-eutectic Al-Si alloys. The SEM micrographs of
the samples, modified by 4.0% Ba and 5.0% Ba, show that when barium was added to the melt,
the morphologies of the primary silicon and eutectic silicon changed from coarse blocky shape
/ irregular morphology to fine blocky columnar shape with reduced primary silicon size. The
quantity of refinement increased with the amount of modifier addition and cooling rate.
Appearances of such morphology of silicon in the alloy can be attributed to the crystallization
behaviour of silicon that has barium in the form of solid solution. Hardness of the modified
samples of Al-17.0Si-0.5 mg-4.0Ba and Al-17.0Si-0.5 mg-5.0Ba increased by 10% and 12%
respectively in comparison to an unmodified sample (Al-17Si-0.5 mg). Experiments were also
conducted with the combined additions of Barium and Al-5.0Ti-1.0B grain refiner and the results
were found to be favourable.
Index Terms—Al-Si alloy, Micro-refinement, Barium addition, Grain refiner addition, Crystallization
of silicon, Hardness
Cite: Ganpat Rai and D B Karunakar, "A New Method for Melt Refinement of Al Cast Alloys in Sand Casting Process," International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, Special Issue, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 136-149, January 2014.
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