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Bolzoni, L., & Hari Babu, N. (2016). Heterogeneous Nb-Based Nuclei for the Grain Refinement of Al-Si Alloys. JOM, 68(5), 1301–1306. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11837-016-1855-8
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10092
Nb-based intermetallics are, generally, low-density high-temperature materials used for structural applications or cryogenic superconductors. In this work, we report the development of an Al(96)-Nb(2)-B(2) master alloy where in situ-formed micrometric Nb-based intermetallics (i.e. NbB2 and Al3Nb) are used for a completely different purpose: to promote the refinement of Al-Si alloys by taking advantage of enhanced heterogeneous nucleation. Nb-based intermetallics have the right characteristics, like low density, stability at high temperature and good lattice match, to be used as heterogeneous nucleation substrates. It was found that the addition of these Nb-based intermetallics permits the significant refinement of the microstructural features of the Al-Si alloy studied. The enhanced heterogeneous nucleation makes the grain size of the material far less dependent on the cooling rate, which is one of the critical parameters influencing the variation of the properties of the alloy.
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