Structural Modification of Sand Cast Eutectic Al-Si Alloys with Sulfur/Sodium and Its Effect on Mechanical Properties


In the present study, the structural modification of sand cast Al-12wt%Si alloy with sulfur/sodium and its effect on mechanical properties were investigated. Different addition levels of sulfur and sodium were used to modify and produce castings of the same shape and size from the alloy. The results indicated that the addition of sodium or sulfur to eutectic Al-Si alloy can modify the Al-Si eutectic morphology from needle-like eutectic silicon structure to fine-scale eutectic silicon structure with significant improvement in mechanical properties of the alloy. The optimum levels of modification by sodium flux (60% NaF and 40% NaCl) and sulfur were found to be 0.6% - 1.0% and 0.02% - 0.05% of the weight of the alloy respectively. The alloy modified with 0.6% Na flux had the best mechanical properties closely followed by the one modified with 0.02% sulfur. Over modification of the alloy with sodium produced over modification band which consisted of aluminum dendrites and coarse silicon particles in the microstructure of the alloy. Increase in concentration of sulfur decreased the degree of fineness of the eutectic silicon structure with significant decrease in mechanical properties of the alloy and this is suggested to be as a result of the presence of a brittle sulfur compound at the grain interfaces of the alloy.

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Onyia, C. , Okorie, B. , Neife, S. and Obayi, C. (2013) Structural Modification of Sand Cast Eutectic Al-Si Alloys with Sulfur/Sodium and Its Effect on Mechanical Properties. World Journal of Engineering and Technology, 1, 9-16. doi: 10.4236/wjet.2013.12002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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