A grain refinement mechanism of cast commercial purity aluminium by vanadium

Feng Wang*, Yu Lung Chiu, Dmitry Eskin, Wenjia Du, Paul R. Shearing

*Corresponding author for this work

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Grain refinement of cast commercial purity aluminium by vanadium and the underlying mechanism have been investigated. Addition of 0.3 wt% and 0.4 wt% vanadium leads to columnar to equiaxed transition and the average grain sizes are refined to around 196 μm and 154 μm, respectively. Pro-peritectic equilibrium Al10V particles are identified near the grain centres. These Al10V particles have either octahedron or plate morphology with the bound planes belonging to {111} crystallographic planes. Three orientation relationships are also determined between the Al10V particles and aluminium grains. Crystallographic analysis based on the experimental orientation relationships indicates that the Al10V particles have relatively high nucleation potency for solid aluminium. Calculation of free growth undercooling based on the size distribution of the Al10V particles reveals that the relatively large size of Al10V particles facilitates the grain initiation of aluminium grains on these particles. Moreover, it is found that the level of vanadium added provides sufficient growth restriction effect in the aluminium melt as quantified by its growth restriction factor. All the three factors, i.e., sufficient potency of Al10V particles, relatively large size of the Al10V particles and adequate growth restriction effect by solute vanadium work in concert to achieve the grain refinement observed in Al-V alloys.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111468
JournalMaterials Characterization
Early online date23 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the financial support from UK Government's Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) ( EP/L019884/1 ). The authors are also grateful to Dr. Biao Cai and Mr. Zihan Song for their help with access to Avizo software package. P.R.S acknowledges funding from The Royal Academy of Engineering ( CiET1718/59 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Aluminium alloys
  • Crystallography
  • FIB
  • Grain refinement
  • TEM
  • Vanadium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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