Grain Refinement of Commercial EC Grade 1070 Aluminium Alloy for Electrical Application

by Massoud Hassanabadi

Institution: KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Year: 2015
Keywords: pure aluminium; grain refining; fading; columnar grains; equiaxed grains; properzi; electrical conductivity; IACS %; Engineering and Technology; Materials Engineering; Other Materials Engineering; Teknik och teknologier; Materialteknik; Annan materialteknik; Master of Science - Engineering Materials Science; Teknologie masterexamen - Teknisk materialvetenskap
Record ID: 1342654
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-163402


The aluminium alloys for electrical conductivity applications are generally not grain refinedsince the addition of grain refiners drops the electrical conductivity by introducing impuritiesinto the melt. Non-grain refined aluminium may lead to bar fracture and cracks during themetalworking process. The present study focuses to find an optimum balance between the grain refiner addition andthe electrical conductivity of commercial EC grade 1070 aluminium alloy for electricalapplication. In order to reach this goal, the electrical conductivity and the macrostructure ofcommercial EC grade 1070 aluminium (commercial pure aluminium) have been studiedunder a series of controlled lab scale trails. Specific addition levels of different grain refiners(TiBloy, Al-5Ti-1B, Al-3Ti-0.15C, and Al-3Ti-1B) were added to the metal melt and sampleswere taken at specific time intervals. The collected samples were sectioned, ground andmacro-etched. Thereafter, the macrostructure was analysed by the use of a digital camera andthe electrical conductivity was measured at temperature. The obtained result was expressed asa percentage of the International Annealed Copper Standard (IACS %). The macro-structuralanalysis showed that TiBloy, Al-5Ti-1B, and Al-3Ti-1B, with the maximum addition level of0.1%, cannot grin refine commercial pure aluminium. However, at higher grain refiner levelsthe number of columnar grains increased and their size decreased. The Al-3Ti-0.15C master alloy, with the same addition level as the once chosen for the othergrain refiners (up to 0.1%), showed significantly better grain refining. By the addition of0.1% of this grain refiner the macrostructure became very equiaxed already after 30 minutesof grain refiner addition. The fading of the Al-3Ti-0.15 master alloy was, however, observedfor samples with a long holding time. Nevertheless, by maximum addition level (0.1%) and a90 minutes holding time the macrostructure remained as equiaxed grains. The electrical conductivity results showed that none of the applied grain refiners (TiBloy, Al-5Ti-1B, Al-3Ti-0.15C, and Al-3Ti-1B), with the maximum addition level of 0.1%, decreasedthe electrical conductivity of commercial pure aluminium.