Nucleation with Collapse of Acoustic Cavitation in Molten Al-Si Alloys
Ultrasonic irradiation during the solidification of molten metals has an effect on grain refinement. However, the mechanism of grain refinement by ultrasonic vibration has not been fully understood yet, so that there exist difficulties to apply the ultrasonic grain refinement to industrial casting processes. In the present study, we propose the mechanism of ultrasonic grain refinement: the nucleation is based on the extremely high pressure generated by the collapse of acoustic cavitation in molten Al-Si alloys. The effect of ultrasonic irradiation into molten Al-Si alloy on the microstructure was firstly studied, that is, molten Al-12.6wt%Si alloy was rapidly cooled down from just above the eutectic temperature after the ultrasonic irradiation. The detailed microstructure observation exhibits that ultrasonic irradiation above the eutectic temperature causes crystalline -Al and silicon to nucleate. Through the measurement of silicon content in -Al nodules solidified with ultrasonic irradiation, the silicon content is higher than that in non-irradiated -Al nodules. It is known that the collapse of acoustic cavitation generates extremely high pressure. At the highly pressurized sites, the eutectic temperature rises and the crystallized -Al nodules contain higher amount of silicon compared with those solidified at ambient pressure. According to the fact that the -Al nodules crystallized above the eutectic temperature contain higher amount of silicon, the irradiated microstructure of -Al nodules is developed at the highly pressurized sites, that is, the collapse of acoustic cavitation induces nucleation and causes grain refinement.
T. Chandra, N. Wanderka, W. Reimers , M. Ionescu
Y. Fukui et al., "Nucleation with Collapse of Acoustic Cavitation in Molten Al-Si Alloys", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 89-91, pp. 190-195, 2010