Experimental Investigation of Ternary Al-Si-Cu Alloy Solidified with Unsteady-State Heat Flow Conditions

Ternary Al-9.0wt%Si-4.0wt%Cu alloy was solidified in a vertical directional solidification system under unsteady-state heat flow conditions. The resulting dendritic morphology and microsegregation were investigated. A more detailed analysis was dedicated to the microsegregation phenomena where a multielement interaction was observed. The solidification parameters such as: solidification speed (VL) and cooling rate ( T ˙) were determined from the cooling curves obtained during the solidification process. The thermal variables effect on the dendritic morphology is presented. The measurements of tertiary dendrite arm spacing (λ3) and microsegregation were performed for different positions along the casting. The experimental curves for microsegregation were obtained for Si and Cu from the center of dendritic tertiary arm to the next nearest tertiary arm. The solidification speed (VL) influence is "built into" the effective partition coefficient (Kef_Cu and Kef_Si) that has been determined for the range of VL and microsegregation curves are calculated by Scheil's equation for comparison with experimental data. Good agreements of the Scheil's equation with experimental data on microsegregation curves of the Si and Cuwere obtained when effective partition coefficient (Kef_Cu and Kef_Si) is taken into consideration. The multielement interaction effect on the Si microsegregation is investigated. Experimental results show that, Cu-rich dendrites were accompanied by minute amounts of Si. The concentration profiles obtained experimentally point to a strong negative correlation between Si and VL on ternary Al-9.0wt%Si-4.0wt%Cu alloy.