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Modifying Al-Si alloys: 25 years of progress.

While much had been written on the subject of modifying aluminum-silicon alloys prior to 1966, it wasn't until P.E. Crosley and L.F. Mondolfo, Illinois Institute of Technology, presented their classic paper at the AFS Casting Congress that year that practicing foundrymen began to understand the true significance of this metallurgical phenomenon. Their work, said J.E. Gruzleski, "helped lay the groundwork for the considerable advances in the science and the art of modification which occurred through the late 1970s and 1980s."

Gruzleski, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, in presenting the AFS Aluminum Division's Silver Anniversary Lecture, reviewed the quarter century of progress in modification since Crosley and Mondolfo presented their work on how and why modification occurs.

"The importance of any piece of scientific research is measured by the influence it has on future research and development in the field," said Gruzleski, on the significance of the Crosley, Mondolfo work. "These authors inspired much of the scientific community concerned with aluminum casting alloys to study modification. Their growth model led later researchers armed with more powerful tools than those available in the mid-1960s to study silicon crystallization and to elucidate the important role that modifiers have in twinning in that material."

But the McGill University researcher is concerned that more effort has not been directed toward better understanding the mechanism of nucleation. "Interestingly, the study of nucleation has not met with the same keen response |as modification~ even though we know that it too plays a role in determining microstructure. Here we seem to have forgotten the message of our two authors, but the subject of nucleation must be understood before the complete picture of modification will be clear to us," Gruzleski said.

As the use of aluminum continues to grow, Gruzleski is confident that nucleation and other areas of aluminum metallurgy will receive increased attention. "The technology of modification has advanced greatly over the past quarter century. Although new modifiers and new methods of quality control are available, the process is not without its problems, with porosity being the greatest. Science will eventually lead us to a solution to these problems, and I think that it is in its scientific nature that the true significance of the Crosley and Mondolfo paper lies."
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Title Annotation:96th AFS Casting Congress Milwaukee; aluminum-silicon alloys
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jun 1, 1992
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