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The new technology of intermetallic phases treatment by fluid flow in Al-Si casting alloys

Activity Code: FP7-PEOPLE-IEF-2008
Coordinator:German Aerospace Center (DLR)


Aluminum-silicon base alloys are widely used in castings (foundry industry) due to their excellent castability and high strength-to-weight ratio. In the Al-Si alloys, the presence of small amounts of Fe and Mn brings about a complicated microstructure due to the formation of a rich variety of intermetallic phases (IMPs) during solidification, which generally have a negative effect on the mechanical and physical properties of a as cast part.

The main goal of the project iPhaseFlow is to prepare new technology of intermetallic phases treatment by fluid flow in Al-Si casting alloys. The project investigates problems of artificial fluid flow influence on the growth, morphology and spatial arrangement of intermetallic phases in as-cast AlSi-base alloys containing especially Fe and Mn as alloying elements.

The iPhaseFlow studies concerns detailed tasks:

  • directional solidification of casting specimens in Artemis aerogel furnace by the presence of fluid flow and without it (in different solidification conditions)
  • detailed analysis of the microstructure of the Al-Si alloys (dendritic pattern geometry, length and thickness of the IMPs, localization of the IMPs, their density and shape distribution)
  • numerical modeling for physical understanding of the mechanisms leading to the anticipated changes in microstructure by the presence of IMPs and fluid flows.

Project involves trainings in using advanced world wide unique facilities and modern scientific methods: directional solidification within Artemis, microstructure investigation by methods SEM/EBSD/EDX, x-Ray nano-tomography, x-Ray diffractrometry, metallography, quantitative image analysis (AnalySIS, Origin, IDL) and thermal analysis DTA, DSC.

iPhaseFlow will be conducted in Institute of Materials Physics in Space MP of the German Aerospace Center DLR in Cologne. 

Project Details:

Start Date: 15.09.2009
End Date:  14.09.2011
EU Contribution: 230,288 Euro
Total Costs: 230,288 Euro
Funding Scheme: Intra-European Fellowships (IEF) 
Administrative Contact Person: Julia Müller