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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Stephen L. Kampe


Thermal stability of nanograined metals can be difficult to attain due to the large driving force for grain growth that arises from the significant boundary area constituted by the nanostructure. Kinetic approaches for stabilization of the nanostructure effective at low homologous temperatures often fail at higher homologous temperatures. Thermodynamic approaches for thermal stabilization may offer higher temperature stability. In this research, modest alloying of aluminum with solute (1 at.% Sc, Yb, or Sr) was examined as a means to thermodynamically stabilize a bulk nanostructure at elevated temperatures. After using melt-spinning and ball-milling to create an extended solid-solution and nanostructure with average grain size on the order of 30-45 nm, 1 h annealing treatments at 673 K (0.72 Tm) , 773 K (0.83 Tm) , and 873 K (0.94 Tm) were applied. The alloys remain nanocrystalline (<100 nm) as measured by Warren-Averbach Fourier analysis of x-ray diffraction peaks and direct observation of TEM dark field micrographs, with the efficacy of stabilization: Sr>Yb>Sc. Disappearance of intermetallic phases in the Sr and Yb alloys in the x-ray diffraction spectra are observed to occur coincident with the stabilization after annealing, suggesting that precipitates dissolve and the boundaries are enriched with solute.

Melt-spinning has also been shown to be an effective process to produce a class of ordered, but non-periodic crystals called quasicrystals. However, many of the factors related to the creation of the quasicrystals through melt-spinning are not optimized for specific chemistries and alloy systems. In a related but separate aspect of this research, meltspinning was utilized to create metastable quasicrystalline Al6Mn in an α-Al matrix through rapid solidification of Al-8Mn (by mol) and Al-10Mn (by mol) alloys. Wheel speed of the melt-spinning wheel and orifice diameter of the tube reservoir were varied to determine their effect on the resulting volume proportions of the resultant phases using integrated areas of collected x-ray diffraction spectra. The data were then used to extrapolate parameters for the Al-10Mn alloy which consistently produced Al6Mn quasicrystal with almost complete suppression of the equilibrium Al6Mn orthorhombic phase.