Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Paul George Sanders


A series of aluminum alloys containing additions of scandium, zirconium, and ytterbium were cast to evaluate the effect of partial ytterbium substitution for scandium on tensile behavior. Due to the high price of scandium, a crucible-melt interaction study was performed to ensure no scandium was lost in graphite, alumina, magnesia, or zirconia crucibles after holding a liquid Al-Sc master alloy for 8 hours at 900 °C in an argon atmosphere. The alloys were subjected to an isochronal aging treatment and tested for conductivity and Vickers microhardness after each increment. For scandium-containing alloys, peak hardnesses of 520-790 MPa, and peak tensile stresses of 138-234 MPa were observed after aging from 150-350 °C for 3 hours in increments of 50 °C, and for alloys without scandium, peak hardnesses of 217-335 MPa and peak tensile stresses of 45-63 MPa were observed after a 3 hour, 150 °C aging treatment. The hardness and tensile strength of the ytterbium containing alloy was found to be lower than in the alloy with no ytterbium substitution.