Effect of Inclusion and Filtration on Grain Refinement Efficiency of Aluminum Alloy
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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It is well known that the filtration efficiency of ceramic foam filters (CFF) on aluminum melt can be significantly reduced by the addition of grain refiner particles under a high inclusion load. Also, it is usually considered that the filtration process has little impact on grain refinement efficiency. In this work, the influence of inclusions and filtration on the grain refinement effect of AA 6060 alloy has been studied. This was done through TP-1 type solidification experiments where the aluminum melt prior to and after the filter during a pilot-scale filtration test was investigated. In the experiments, 80 PPi CFFs were used to filtrate aluminum melt with an ultra-high inclusion load and two addition levels of Al–3Ti–1B master alloys. It is found that both inclusions and filtration significantly reduce the grain refinement efficiency of the grain refiner master alloys. A detailed characterization of the used filters shows that the reduction of grain refinement efficiency is due to the strong adherence of TiB2 particles to the oxide films, which are blocked by the CFF during filtration. A grain size prediction model based on deterministic nucleation mechanisms and dendritic growth kinetics has been applied to calculate the solidification grain size and estimate the loss of effective grain refiner particles during filtration. It is shown that due to the strong adherence between TiB2 particles and oxide films in the melt, the high addition level of aluminum chips also has an influence on reducing the grain refinement efficiency of aluminum melt without filtration. The results of this study extended our understanding of the behavior and performance of inoculant particles in CFF and their interactions with the inclusions.