colonies of Al11Ce3 inter-metallic phase responsible for strength

Direct reduction slashes Al-Ce alloy cost

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Exothermic addition of Ce carbonate powder to molten Al
Exothermic addition of Ce carbonate powder to molten Al 

CMI scientists at Ames Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Eck Industries Inc. contributed to this research.

Achievement:

Successful manufacturing demonstration of the production of Al-Ce alloy using direct reduction of commercial-grade cerium carbonate and oxide

Significance and Impact:

  • Preferred Al-Ce alloy micro-structure and mechanical properties are preserved upon adding low-cost Ce carbonate or oxide to the Al melt
  • This by-passes a separate Ce reduction step in the supply chain
  • Al-Ce alloy cost using Ce oxide or carbonate drops 30–70%, near cost parity with Al metal itself

Next Steps:

  • Understand cerium oxide agglomeration and how to achieve complete reduction
  • Understand the role of other components such as magnesium in the reaction
  • Extend the direct reduction to die casting under flow conditions