Effects of Solidification Thermal Parameters and Bi Doping on Silicon Size, Morphology and Mechanical Properties of Al 15wt.% Si 3.2wt.% Bi and Al 18wt.% Si 3.2wt.% Bi alloys
The use of bismuth (Bi) in aluminum (Al) industries is recognized as prime importance because of possible recycling as alloying element in special applications such as those enhancing machinability. The effects of Bi interaction on solidification progress as well as on the resulting microstructure of hypereutectic Al-Si alloys, i.e. the morphology and size of Si crystals are rare information. As such, the present research work investigates the characteristic parameters of eutectic and primary
... with addition of Bi for both ternary Al-15 wt.%Si-3.2 wt.%Bi and Al-18 wt.%Si-3.2 wt.%Bi alloys samples directionally solidified (DS) under various cooling rates. The alloy containing 15 wt.%Si showed that Bi acts in the suppression of the growth of primary Si crystals for samples solidified at cooling rates ranging from 2.0 to 31 K/s. For lower rates, a minor fraction of five-fold branched Si was recognized in transverse specimens. A mixture of globular-fibrous eutectic Si is shown to occur for eutectic cooling rates higher than 5 K/s. The Al-18 wt.%Si-3.2 wt.%Bi alloy is characterized by a mixed structure of eutectic flaky Si and primary angular Si with intersecting spines at nearly 90º all over the entire range of experimental cooling rates (i.e., from 0.4 to 40 K/s). Despite the intricacy of the formed microstructures, it was possible to establish relationships between tensile properties and eutectic Si spacing in order to compare the properties between the tested alloys. Tensile strength and elongation decrease with increasing alloy Si content.