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Microstructure development during heat treatment in an Al-7Si Alloy

LONG Hui-chi,CHEN Jiang-hua,LIU Chun-hui,LI Xiang-liang(The center for High-Resolution Electron Microscopy,College of Materials Science and Engineering, Hunan University,Changsha Hunan 410082,China)  
Microstructure developments of eutectic silicon particles,silicon precipitates and interfaces between eutectic silicon particles and Al matrix in an Al-6.86wt.%Si alloy during heat treatment were studied by means of X-ray diffraction,scanning electron microscopy and high resolution transmission electron microscopy.Eutectic silicon particles of branch-like morphology became spheroidized and coarsened to some extent with the extending of solution treatment time.A certain amount of Si atoms dissolved in the Al matrix would aggregate,nucleate and grow into silicon precipitates in the matrix and at grain boundaries as well during artificial aging.Silicon precipitates in the matrix lied on the {111} planes of the Al matrix.Silicon precipitates on the eutectic silicon particles grew larger with aging time.A large number of twins and other crystal defects were presented in the nano-sized silicon precipitates on the eutectic silicon particles.In addition to ordinary SiΣ3(111) twins,some multiple twins such as five-fold twins were also observed.
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