Formation of fine clusters in high-temperature oxidation of molten aluminum

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High-temperature oxidation of molten aluminum was investigated by high-resolution electron microscopes in order to determine the possibility of heterogeneous nucleation of aluminum grains on oxide for the grain refinement and structural uniformity of intensively melt-sheared aluminum alloys. High-resolution observations detect initial amorphous phase and gamma-alumina phase and show fine clusters with size of about 150 to 200 nm composed of extremely fine aluminum grains and gamma-alumina or amorphous aluminum oxide. Furthermore, high-resolution lattice images and diffraction patterns show no orientation relationship, although there is a specific orientation between gamma-alumina and aluminum along (111)[110] with high potency of heterogeneous nucleation. The volumetric shrinkage by the transformation of gamma- into alpha-alumina causes the surface oxide films to repeatedly rupture and leads to the creation of channels to the base melt surface for further oxidation of fresh metal. Based on the observations, the mechanism of high-temperature oxidation of molten aluminum and formation of the fine clusters as well as the possibility of the heterogeneous nucleation of aluminum grains are discussed.

Bibliographic note

Kim, K. Formation of Fine Clusters in High-Temperature Oxidation of Molten Aluminum. Metall and Mat Trans A 45, 3650–3660 (2014).


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3650-3660
Number of pages11
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2014