Eutectic nucleation and growth in hypoeutectic Al-Si alloys at different strontium levels

A. K. Dahle, K. Nogita, J. W. Zindel, S. D. McDonald, L. M. Hogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

240 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of different levels of strontium on nucleation and growth of the eutectic in a commercial hypoeutectic Al-Si foundry alloy have been investigated by optical microscopy and electron backscattering diffraction (EBSD) mapping by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The microstructural evolution of each specimen during solidification was studied by a quenching technique at different temperatures and Sr contents. By comparing the orientation of the aluminum in the eutectic to that of the surrounding primary aluminum dendrites by EBSD, the eutectic formation mechanism could be determined. The results of these studies show that the eutectic nucleation mode, and subsequent growth mode, is strongly dependent on Sr level. Three distinctly different eutectic growth modes were found, in isolation or sometimes together, but different for each Sr content. At very low Sr contents, the eutectic nucleated and grew from the primary phase. Increasing the Sr level to between 70 and 110 ppm resulted in nucleation of independent eutectic grains with no relation to the primary dendrites. At a Sr level of 500 ppm, the eutectic again nucleated on and grew from the primary phase while a well-modified eutectic structure was still present. A slight dependency of eutectic growth radially from the mold wall opposite the thermal gradient was observed in all specimens in the early stages of eutectic solidification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number352
Pages (from-to)949-960
Number of pages12
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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