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Title: Development of bulk nanoquasicrystalline alloys for high strength elevated temperature applications
Author: Rounthwaite, Nicholas James
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Al93Fe3Cr2Nb2 (at.%) nanoquasicrystalline alloys have been shown to have the potential to push the applications of aluminium alloys to more elevated temperatures, by maintaining a high strength. They also have more thermally stable microstructures than previous nanoquasicrystalline alloys from similar systems (the most studied of which is Al93Fe3Cr2Ti2 (at.%)). Al93Fe3Cr2Nb2 (at.%) alloys have never previously been produced in samples on a scale larger than melt-spun ribbon. This study examines the production parameters of bulk nanoquasicrystalline Al-Fe-Cr-Nb alloys. Firstly an attempt was made to reduce the melting temperatures of thermally stable nanoquasicrystalline alloys through additional alloying. The melting processes of binary, ternary, quaternary and quinary nanoquasicrystalline alloys was analysed though DTA, with endothermic reactions up to 1034oC observed. Rapidly solidified Al-Fe-Cr-Nb alloys were then produced in kilogram quantities through gas atomisation at an industrial scale. The smallest atomised powder particles contained fine scale microstructures consisting of nano-scale quasicrystals embedded in an aluminium matrix. As the cooling rate of the powder particles decreased new phases, including the theta phase (Al13(Fe,Cr)2-4) and Al3Nb were produced. 0-25μm, 25-50μm and 50-75μm (diameter) size fractions of atomised powder were each consolidated through extrusion to produce nanoquasicrystalline Al-Fe-Cr-Nb bars. Composite bars of the nanoquasicrystalline alloy mixed with 10(vol.)% and 20(vol.)% pure aluminium were also produced. The consolidation of the nanoquasicrystalline atomised powders through extrusion led to precipitation of intermetallics including (Al13(Fe,Cr)2-4) and Al3Nb, particularly in the smallest powder size fractions with the most metastable microstructures. Finally the effects of the atomisation and extrusion conditions on the microstructure and its mechanical properties were studied. Improved strength, coupled with reduced ductility was observed with decreases in the elemental aluminium composition of the Al-Fe-Cr-Nb bars and the powder size fraction they were produced from. There was however improvements in toughness of the extruded composite bars, over the nanoquasicrystalline alloy bars.
Supervisor: Galano, Marina ; Smith, George Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Materials Sciences ; Alloys ; Materials processing ; Metallurgy ; Physical metallurgy ; quasicrystalline ; aluminium ; powder processing