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Improvement in elevated-temperature properties of Al–13% Si piston alloys by dispersoid strengthening via Mn addition

  • Kun Liu (a1) and X-Grant Chen (a1)


Eutectic Al–13% Si alloys are widely used in automotive components, such as pistons and cylinder heads. Recently, the demand on the performance of piston alloys at high temperature is greatly increased to enhance the engine efficiency and to reduce exhaust emission. In the present work, Mn was added to strengthen the aluminum matrix via the formation of thermally stable dispersoids. The evolution of dispersoids during heat treatment and their influence on elevated-temperature properties were studied. The results showed that the as-cast microstructures in the experimental alloys without/with Mn addition were similar, which were composed of eutectic Si, primary Mg2Si, Al–Fe–Ni, Al–Cu–Ni, and π-Al–Mg–Fe–Si intermetallic phases. In the alloy with Mn addition, a number of α-Al(Mn,Fe)Si dispersoids started to form after a heat treatment at 425 °C for 24 h and reached the peak condition at 500 °C for 6 h, resulting in a remarkable increase of the microhardness at room temperature and the improvement in the yield strength and creep resistance at 300 °C. As a complementary strengthening mechanism, the dispersoid strengthening in the aluminum matrix provides a novel approach to improve the elevated-temperature properties of Al–Si piston alloys.


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