Pradnya Pravin Narvekar, “Aluminum Cerium Alloys”
Mentor: Pradeep Rohatgi, Materials Science & Engineering
Aluminum Cerium alloys are the high temperature aluminum alloys that have been recently developed for aerospace and automotive applications. These lightweight alloys are important to the transportation industry where weight, cost, and operating temperature are major factors in the design of energy efficient vehicles. Alloying aluminum with cerium creates a fairly castable alloy, compatible with traditional aluminum alloy additions, that shows dramatically improved high-temperature performance. The research was conducted to test the effect of etching on the Aluminum Cerium and its ability to reveal the microstructure. Three different etchants were tested – Keller’s, Kroll’s, and Tucker’s reagents. Kroll’s reagent caused dark field illumination while Keller’s reagent revealed the pores and grain boundaries. The grain boundaries, topography, precipitates, and pores are visible. It helps to study the effect of the features present in the microstructure on the ultimate tensile strength, toughness, ductility, hardness, corrosion resistance, high/low temperature behavior or wear resistance since the microstructure affects the mechanical properties of these alloys. The results show that the percentage composition of cerium and the cooling rate affects the number and composition of the precipitates formed.