||This thesis examines the effects of micro-alloying additions to Al-Sc alloys on the
microstructure, coarsening resistance and creep properties. The overarching goal of this research
is to develop castable, creep-resistant aluminum alloys which can be used at temperatures in
excess of 300°C. Successful high-temperature application of aluminum based alloys offers a
lower cost and lower weight alternative to other materials commonly used at high temperatures,
including titanium- and nickel-based alloys.
To this end, this aims to improve the properties of the Al alloys by adding various
alloying elements in small quantities, on the order of several hundred atomic parts per million, to
aluminum. The thesis begins by focusing on additions of Ti to Al-Sc. Ti is a slow diffuser in Al
, and it will be shown that it improves the coarsening kinetics of the precipitate phase at
300°C. Since these alloys are coarsening resistant, it is found that they can be aged and crept at
temperatures of up to 425°C. The properties displayed are similar to those of Al-Sc-Zr alloys
studied previously [2, 3].
The examination of Ti additions is followed by a study of the additions of lanthanide
elements. These elements are of interest since they are known to increase the lattice parameter of
the precipitate phase [4-8], which could potentially lead to improved creep resistance .
Initially, binary Al-Yb alloys are studied to obtain some fundamental knowledge of the behavior
of Yb in Al. Subsequent additions of Yb to Al-Sc result in improved creep resistance. A similar
improved creep resistance is observed for additions of Gd to Al-Sc.
Finally, this dissertation concludes with the study of Al-Sc-Yb-Zr alloys. Since the goal
of this research is to obtain a creep-resistant as well as coarsening resistant alloy, both a slow
diffusing element (Zr) and an element which improves the creep resistance (Yb) are added. The
quaternary alloys are found to maintain the creep resistance and coarsening resistance of the Al-
Sc-Yb and Al-Sc-Zr alloys, respectively, which points to opportunities for future research in this