Scientists at Brunel University, London have discovered that a patented niobium-base master alloy improves grain refinement in aluminium-containing magnesium alloys. That isn’t all — it also offers ‘significant advantages’ over titanium in aluminium-silicon alloys.
The research team at the Brunel Centres for Advanced Solidification Techniques saw significant improvements in both tensile strength and ductility when the niobium master alloy was added.
The team anticipates that their findings could lead to changes in aerospace applications, where a possible end to over-engineering of cast components could lead to weight savings of up to 30% without loss of strength or ductility.
The team also anticipates that the new master alloy could enable excess aluminium-silicon alloy melts to be simply recycled back into the process on site, rather than having to be sent off site.