A methodology to assess the spatial distribution of dispersoids in Al-Mg-Si alloys
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Al-Mg-Si alloys often add small additions of e.g. Mn or Cr, to form dispersoids, which may act as nucleation sites for Mg2Si particles after homogenization. The purpose is to ensure a high density of uniformly distributed small ’-particles, which can be dissolved during further processing prior to the final age hardening step. However, their density and spatial distribution are critically dependent on the homogenization procedure. It is therefore important to have a robust and reliable method for assessing their spatial distribution. In the present work an existing methodology for assessing spatial uniformity, the Global Shannon Entropy (GSE), has been implemented and evaluated for different dispersoid structures characterized by scanning electron microscopy. This metric is highly dependent on the parameters used, but by careful selection of adequate parameters, it can be effective in detecting non-uniformity. An important weakness with the GSE was identified, and a modification to improve on the ability to differentiate degrees of non-uniformity is suggested. To evaluate the proposed methodology, the effect of heating rate on dispersoid precipitation behaviour during homogenisation of four Al-Mg-Si alloys with different Mn/Crcontent has been investigated. The metric with the new term has demonstrated promising results, and improved the ability to differentiate degrees of spatial uniformity.