Aluminum Metallurgy 201


"Group teaching activities were very effective and I appreciated the different perspectives from classmates." 


This course provides participants with the scientific principles needed to understand the metallurgy of aluminum-based casting alloys. The primary purpose of this course is to facilitate an understanding of the chemical and thermal fundamentals which control structures formed during aluminum solidification. Topics include: phase diagrams, thermal analysis, segregation, dendritic solidification, and heat treatment.

Participants will attain the knowledge and skills needed to interact with analysis laboratories and customers in an informed manner, modify process parameters and adjust casting properties to meet customers’ requirements, and better understand and solve future production problems.

Learning outcomes

Course participants will learn to identify:

  • Unary and binary phase diagrams to predict the phases (structures) that form during solidification.
  • Phase diagrams and cooling curves can be used to determine the sources of castability issues.
  • How solidification impacts casting properties.
  • The effects of grain refiners and modifiers on microstructures.
  • How various melt treatments (e.g., degassing, fluxes, and filtration) can impact casting properties.
  • The types and applications of common melt quality and casting analysis techniques.
  • How the heat treatment tempers affect microstructure and mechanical properties of cast aluminum alloys.

Course Length

2.0 days

CEU Units

1.30 CEU

Course outline

Module 1: Introduction
Module 2: Cooling Curves and Phase Diagrams

•    Cooling Curves and Phase Diagrams
•    Elements of a Cast Microstructure

Module 3: Solidification Characteristics

•    Solidification and Feeding
•    Grain Structure and Solidification

Module 4: Grain Refinement and Modification

•    Grain Refinement
•    Silicon Modification
•    Best Practices

Module 5: Melt Quality and Casting Analysis

•    Relationship with Casting Quality and the Melt Process
•    Melt Quality Analysis Techniques
•    Mechanical Testing Methods
•    Casting Inspections

Module 6: Heat Treatment

•    Benefits of Heat Treatment
•    Processes and Tempers
•    Heat Treating Issues, Properties, and Applications of Common Alloy Systems

Module 7: Conclusion