Microstructural evolution and mechanical properties of Sn-Bi-Cu ternary eutectic alloy produced by directional solidification

Sn-36Bi-22Cu (wt.%) ternary eutectic alloy was prepared using vacuum melting furnace and casting furnace. The samples were directionally solidified upwards solidification rate varying from 8.3 to 166 µm/s and at a constant temperature gradient (4.2 K/mm) in a Bridgman-type directional solidification furnace. The composition analysis of the phases and the intermetallics (Cu3Sn and Cu6Sn5) were determined from EDX and XRD analysis respectively. The variation of the lamellar spacing (Bi-rich phase) and the Cu3Sn phase spacing with the solidification rate were investigated. The dependence of microhardness, ultimate compressive strength and compressive yield strength on solidification rate were determined. The spacing and microhardness were measured from both longitudinal and transverse sections of the samples. The dependence of microhardness on the lamellar spacing and the Cu3Sn phase spacing were also determined. The relationships between phase spacings, solidification rate and mechanical properties were determined from linear regression analysis.