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Heat-treatment induced defect formation in α-Al matrix in Sr-modified eutectic Al–Si alloy

Abstract : An intensive formation of crystal defects in the α-Al matrix of an as-cast Sr-modified eutectic Al–Si alloy, induced by heat treatment with rapid heating, has been studied. This phenomenon arises from the fragmentation of the Si crystals and the diffusion of Al atoms into the cracks of the Si crystals. During the rapid heating process, a large temperature gradient is established within an as-cast Al–Si sample. It creates a tensile environment for the irregular-shaped and interconnected Si crystals, as the thermal expansion coefficient of the α-Al is ten times that of the Si. Under the thermal constraints, some Si crystals are broken, where the cracks produce the so-called “capillary force” that attracts the surrounding α-Al matrix to fill in them. As the migration of the Al atoms is substitutional, the Al diffusion creates fluxes of vacancies to the interior of the αAl matrix; thus, the crack volume is transferred to the αAl matrix. Due to the homogeneous distribution of the Si crystals and the random presence of the cracks, the αAl matrix is subjected to a varied migration of vacancies in site, in quantity and in direction. Such diffusion is further perturbed by local migration of Al atoms to accommodate the spheroidization of the Si induced by its shape instability. In this way, a large amount of crystal defects (vacancies and then dislocations) are produced in the α-Al matrix. The produced crystal defects then promote the recovery and even recrystallization of the α-Al matrix, resulting in its refinement. Such a mechanism of defect production is applicable to polycrystalline materials composed of phases with incompatible thermal and mechanical properties.
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Contributor : Yudong Zhang <>
Submitted on : Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 4:16:51 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 3:12:03 PM



Xiaorui Liu, Benoit Beausir, Y. D. Zhang, Weimin Gan, Hui Yuan, et al.. Heat-treatment induced defect formation in α-Al matrix in Sr-modified eutectic Al–Si alloy. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Elsevier, 2018, 730, pp.208-218. ⟨10.1016/j.jallcom.2017.09.324⟩. ⟨hal-03080349⟩



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