Review of effect of P and Sr on modification and porosity development in Al-Si alloys

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


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The benefits of Sr additions to Al-Si alloys to modify the eutectic are often impaired by the development of porosity, sometimes to the degree that benefits are negated. Experimental reports are reviewed in this paper, suggesting an explanation in terms of the oxide population in the melt. The unmodified silicon particles are nucleated by AlP, which has in turn nucleated on oxide bifilms. The oxide bifilms, which are essentially cracks, are straightened by the crystalline growth of Si particles, leading to increased crack size and consequently reduced mechanical properties. The addition of Sr improves properties by suppressing the formation of Si on bifilms and thereby preventing the straightening of the pre-existing cracks. Si is now forced to precipitate at a lower temperature as a coral-like eutectic. Unfortunately, the bifilms are now freed ( the primary Si particles no longer exist to grow around and sequester the bifilms), remaining in suspension in the liquid metal, allowing them to act to block interdendritic flow and aid the initiation of the formation of pores, countering the benefits of the improved structure.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-268
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010


  • AlP, Al-Si alloys, Review, Bifilms, Sr, Oxides, Modification