Grain size is one of the most important characteristics that affect the processing and in turn the properties of alloys. Grain refinement determines many advantages in light alloy casting: it can be achieved using different methods, based on the available technological possibilities and on the performances that one has to obtain. By using grain refinement, important benefits can be reached, for both cast and wrought aluminium alloys: among other, the most important enhancement regards the fine distribution of the second phases, improved castability, reduction of shrinkage porosity, higher mechanical properties, as well as superior fatigue life. The present chapter is not exhaustive on this argument; however, in the first part it reports some current literature data and some perspectives about the grain refinement, while in the second part which has been mostly carried out within a current PhD Thesis focalized on the improvement of the properties of Al-based alloys by physical grain refinement methods, some experimentally obtained results have been presented and discussed.
Part of the book: Aluminium Alloys