Aluminum metals will be worked, formed, and extruded in a variety of shapes and for various applications. Often when the aluminum goes into different phases, the impurities may cause imperfection and defects that could potentially ruin the application. One impurity that is often found in aluminum is iron.
Iron often has corrosive proprieties when it is exposed to environmental factors such as water and oxygen. Aluminum on the other hand has stronger corrosion resistance to environmental factors. It can corrode, as aluminum does have an affinity to oxygen. However, when iron is present in aluminum, it can impact the aluminum’s strength and ductility.
Ductility refers to how much a metal can be bent and deformed. In certain circumstances, this characteristic is highly sought after to form the metal into different shape or to extrude it. Aluminum has excellent ductility to be bent and formed into shape. However, with the impurity of iron, which is considered a hard and brittle metal, it lowers the aluminum’s ductility.
However, keep in mind that there are times when iron is deliberately added into aluminum to provide specific properties. This results in the alloy of ferro aluminum master alloys.
Advantages of Iron in Aluminum Alloys
Pure aluminum is often too ductile to be used for structural applications. It does not have the desired strength necessary. Yet when iron into pure aluminum, it can add enough strength to provide positive benefits. Iron’s strength can prevent hot tears when aluminum is cast into a desired shape. These hot tears occur when the metal starts to cool and solidify.
Another benefit to iron in aluminum is that it provides strength when exposed to higher temperatures. When aluminum undergoes heat treatments to form it into shapes, the iron helps the aluminum to maintain its stability when the temperature becomes elevated during the melt.
Ferro Aluminum Master Alloys
Ferro aluminum refers to an alloy that is formed when adding a certain percentage of iron and aluminum together. This type of master alloy offers several different uses. Ferro aluminum can be used as deoxidation when added into other alloys such as steel. It can also act as a reducing agent.
When welding fluxes and wires, this type of master alloy can be used as an alloy addition. Another important application is hardfacing. Hardfacing refers to when a harder metal is applied to the outside of a base metal to improve its wear resistance, corrosion resistance, impact resistance or heat resistance.
Here at Belmont Metals, we have Ferro Aluminum Master Alloys in varying compositions. We have 10% ferro aluminum as well 30% ferro aluminum available for customers. To learn more about the properties of Ferro aluminum and how iron impacts the properties of aluminum when made for specific applications, reach out to our company.