Interactive Resource icon  Impurities in Aluminium

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Description: In real life aluminium is not 100 % pure, it contains residual impurities, the most common being iron, silicon and copper. This animation demonstrates how these impurities behave in aluminium. Iron and silicon have low solid solubility in aluminium and form fine segregates at cellular boundaries during solidification. Depending on their size, distribution and reactivity, such segregates influence the local properties of the oxide film. The animation also shows a typical nanoscale texture pattern, which appears after alkaline surface cleaning or polishing. The ridges of such texture patterns are preferred sites for nucleation of pits. Copper in low concentrations is present in solid solution; however at higher concentrations copper also segregates at cell boundaries.
Keywords: impurity • segregation • solid solution • nanoscale texture • cellular boundaries
Categories: Science approaches > Strengthening mechanisms > Solid-solution strengthening
Science approaches > Corrosion & degradation
Materials > Metals & alloys > Aluminium & alloys
Materials > Metals & alloys > Copper & alloys
Scale > Nano(-materials)
Created by: MATTER, The University of Liverpool
Steven Meijers, Corus
Carlos Caicedo-Martinez, Corus
Contributions: Andreas Blistein, Alcan
Herman Terryn, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Iris De Graeve, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Marc Ryckeboer, Sapa
Published by: European Aluminium Association, Brussels
License: This resource is released under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives license (2.0 UK: England & Wales).
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Date created: 24 January 2005
Date added: 07 July 2010
Resource ID: 2861