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The role of various intermetallic precipitates (IMP), or secondary phase particles, in governing the wear and corrosion performance characteristics of cast aluminium alloys is outlined in this brief review. Such alloys are especially important in transport applications where their low weight, low cost and recyclability make them very attractive. However alloy wear and/or corrosion behaviour often limit their industrial application and more work needs to done to extend their use into other areas. Careful control of IMP nucleation and growth rates may be beneficial, especially in alloys exposed to corrosive environments. Silicon, copper and magnesium are all important elements for enhanced mechanical strength and tribological performance but often to the detriment of alloy corrosion resistance. Other elements such as iron may also play a significant role in deleterious IMP formation. Use of dispersoids based on novel (quasicrystals) seed alloys with similar lattice characteristics to the α-Al matrix may result in further exploitation of these alloys.
Culliton, D., Betts, A. J. and Kennedy, D. (2013) Impact of Intermetallic Precipitates on the Tribological and/or Corrosion Performance of Cast Aluminium Alloys: a Short Review. International Journal of Cast Metals Research, 2013, VOL 26, NO 2, 65. doi:10.1179/1743133612Y.0000000038