Aluminium finds diverse applications in the industry. However, owing to its somewhat poor mechanical properties, the metal is unsuitable for structural applications. The problem is overcome by addition of alloying elements like zinc, copper, silicon, etc. and these alloys on proper heat-treatment show substantial improvement in the mechanical properties. Further enhancement of their mechanical properties can be brought about by the addition of small percentages of zirconium, which helps in the grain refinement of the cast alloy ingots.
The addition of zirconium to aluminium and aluminium based alloys is best accomplished through master alloys containing known amount of zirconium.
Generally, aluminium-zirconium master alloys are prepared with zirconium content in the range of 2-5 wt. percent.
The process for the production of Al 2-5% Zr master alloy involves direct alloying of zirconium with aluminium in molten condition followed by casting of the alloy in the form of ingots. The master alloy ingots have been found to be of homogeneous composition and the alloys properly prepared using the master alloy have shown excellent mechanical properties.
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