Faculty Advisor

Makhlouf M. Makhlouf

Faculty Advisor

Richard D. Sisson Jr.

Faculty Advisor

Diran Apelian

Faculty Advisor

Harold Brody

Faculty Advisor

Danielle Lynn Cote


A castable alloy, i.e., one that flows easily to fill the entire mold cavity and also has resistance to hot tearing during solidification, must invariably contain a sufficient amount of a eutectic structure. For this reason, most traditional aluminum casting alloys contain silicon because the aluminum-silicon eutectic imparts to the alloy excellent casting characteristics. However, the solidus temperature in the Al-Si system does not exceed 577°C, and the major alloying elements (i.e., zinc, magnesium, and copper) used with silicon in these alloys further lower the solidus temperature. Also, these elements have high diffusivity in aluminum and so, while they enhance the room temperature strength of the alloy, they are not useful at elevated temperatures. Considering nickel-base super alloys, whose mechanical properties are retained up to temperatures that approach 75% of their melting point, it is conceivable that castable aluminum alloys can be developed on the same basis so that they are useful at temperatures approaching 350 °C. A castable aluminum alloy intended for high temperature applications must contain a eutectic structure that is stable at temperatures higher than 600°C, and must contain second phase precipitate particles that are thermodynamically stable at the service temperature. Transition metal trialuminides with the general chemical formula AlxTMy in which TM is a transition metal, are excellent candidates for both the eutectic structure and the precipitate particles. In this research, the use of transition metals in the constitution of aluminum casting alloys is investigated with emphasis on the morphology, crystallography, and mechanisms of formation of the various phases.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Materials Science & Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Al-Mn, Al-Zr-V, Al-Zr, Al-Ni, Transition Metal, Precipitation hardening