Microstructural Characteristics of Unidirectionally Solidified Cast Al–Si–Cu Alloy

Shaohua Wu, Mitsuhiro Okayasu, Tatsuya Kuwada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The properties of a conventional Al–Si–Cu alloy (ADC12) material, fabricated using a unidirectional casting process and slowly solidified in the range 0.02–0.14 °C s−1, were determined. The microstructural characteristics of the cast sample were dependent on sample area and resulted from changes in the amount of Si present during solidification. In the lower and middle regions, where the α-Al phase formed relatively organized crystal structures of different patterns, e.g., 〈101〉, columnar grain growth of α-Al dendrites with a low eutectic Si content was observed. Although columnar grain growth was also found in the upper region, it was randomly formed and the area was narrower. Random crystal orientation (i.e., weak control of unidirectional solidification) was created by interrupting columnar α-Al dendrite growth, which resulted from changes in the dynamics of the alloyed Si atoms. Eutectic Si is considered the only Si precipitate in ADC12; however, primary Si was also formed in the middle and upper regions, which was attributed to high Si concentrations resulting from Si migration to the upper region. Fine and coarse microstructures were observed in the lower and upper regions, respectively, with the middle region acting as a transition zone in which the amount of Si rapidly increased following transport between the lower and upper regions. A high amount of hard Si precipitate in the upper region of the sample resulted in high hardness values. In contrast, due to its fine microstructure with unidirectional crystal formation, the lower region exhibited high tensile strength and high ductility.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Metalcasting
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • EBSD analysis
  • aluminum alloy
  • mechanical properties
  • microstructure
  • unidirectional solidification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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