Effect of Cooling Rate and Neodymium Addition on Beta Intermetallic Phase of Al–Fe–Si Ternary System
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Aluminium silicon alloys are widely used in automotive industry and other structural application. However, the presence of high content of iron element in Al–Si alloys lead to precipitation of beta intermetallic phase that has a detrimental effect on mechanical properties. Reducing the adverse effects of β-Al9Fe2Si2 precipitates can be achieved by altering their morphology by adding element modifier and increasing solidification cooling rate. In this present work, simultaneous thermal analysis was used to study the effect of cooling rate (5, 10 and 30 °C min−1) on beta phase formation in Al–7Si–1Fe alloy added with neodymium at 0.3, 0.6 and 1 wt%. The beta phase precipitates were then characterized using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy equipped with EDS. Image analysis results showed the reduction in size of beta intermetallic phase as a result of the rare earth addition. Further analysis also showed the refinement of eutectic silicon.