Indexed on: 01 Feb '91Published on: 01 Feb '91Published in: Journal of Materials Science
The isothermal nitridation of magnesium- and silicon-doped aluminium melt at 1273 K was investigated. With increasing Mg/Si ratio and decreasing oxygen content in the nitriding atmosphere, four major reaction mechanisms may be separated: (i) a passivating surface nitridation, (ii) a volume nitridation with precipitation of isolated AlN in the aluminium matrix, (iii) a volume nitridation resulting in a three-dimensionally interconnected AlN/Al composite microstructure, and (iv) a break-away nitridation with complete conversion of aluminium to AlN. The behavioural transition of the nitridation mechanism is reflected by the growth direction and the crystal morphology of AlN which change from inward (mechanisms i, ii) to outward (mechanisms iii, iv) growth of the reaction product with [0 0 0 1] as the dominating growth direction. Attempts are made to define the critical magnesium and silicon contents for the regime of controlled AlN/Al composite growth (mechanism iii) at 1273 K, in order to develop novel AlN/Al composite materials.