The Beneficial Effect of Iron in Aluminum-Cerium-Based Cast Alloys

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Moodispaw M. P., ÇİNKILIÇ E., Miao J., Luo A. A.

Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science, vol.55, no.5, pp.1351-1362, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier


Iron (Fe) has been considered a major impurity since it is detrimental to the mechanical properties of many cast aluminum alloys due to the formation of Fe-containing brittle intermetallic phases. Fe is found naturally as an impurity in bauxite ore, resulting in Fe contamination of aluminum alloys with increasing contamination from current recycling practices. The Al–Ce–Fe system was investigated using CALPHAD (CALculation of PHAse Diagrams) modeling and experimental casting techniques. It was found that additions of Fe to the Al–Ce system are beneficial to the strength (slightly) and ductility (significantly) of the ternary alloys, which is attributed to the formation of fine metastable Al8CeFe2 phase with aggregate morphology and equilibrium Al10CeFe2 phase, suppressing coarse proeutectic Al11Ce3 phase in near-eutectic Al–Ce alloys. Heat treatment study showed that the metastable Al8CeFe2 phase transforms to predicted equilibrium Al10CeFe2 phase at 500 °C, with essentially no intermetallic or grain coarsening; thus, the alloy displayed excellent property retention. The Al–Ce–Fe alloy system offers opportunities for sustainable, recyclable alloy development using low-cost Fe and low-cost cerium (a byproduct of rare-earth extraction).