Strontium Effects on the Formation of Iron-Intermetallic Phases in Secondary Al–9Si–0.6Fe Alloys

Balasubramani N., Moodispaw M., ÇİNKILIÇ E., Miao J., Luo A. A.

Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science, vol.55, no.2, pp.550-568, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier


The presence and morphology of Fe-containing intermetallic phases affect the mechanical properties of aluminum alloys, especially in secondary Al–Si-based cast alloys. Although strontium (Sr) addition of 50 to 500 ppm is known to refine the needle-type eutectic silicon structure, the influence of Sr on the formation of Fe-intermetallic phases remains unclear. The present work investigates the combined additions of Sr and Mn to Al–9Si–0.6Fe–0.35Mg (All compositions are in wt pct except otherwise stated.) alloys on the formation of Fe-intermetallic phases at different solidification rates from ~ 1.5 to ~ 60 °C/s. Long and branched-type AlFeSi phase with size ranging from 50 to 120 µm are more common when solidified at the rate of 1.5 °C/s regardless of Sr and Mn additions. However, at the fast solidification rate of 60 °C/s, a 60 ppm Sr addition significantly reduced the average length of needle-shaped AlFeSi phase to less than 3 to 5 µm. Thermodynamic simulations have been performed using CALculation of PHAse Diagrams (CALPHAD) models to predict the formation of various phases and their possible interactions during solidification. The results indicated that the combination of a high solidification rate and about 60 ppm of Sr is beneficial to refining the δ-Al3FeSi2 phase in Al–Si–Mg alloys containing 0.6 pctFe. This unexpected finding of Fe-intermetallic refinement by low Sr addition (~60 ppm) provides an important guide in designing secondary alloys for sustainable casting applications.