Morphology of nonmetallic-inclusion clusters observed in molten metal by X-ray micro-computed tomography (CT)

Tao Li, Shin Ichi Shimasaki, Shoji Taniguchi, Kentaro Uesugi, Shunsuke Narita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The removal of non-metallic inclusions in the metallurgical process greatly affects the properties of the final products. The structure of inclusion clusters plays a key role in inclusion behaviors of their removal process, such as coagulation, flotation and bubble adhesion. However, it is rare to find reports quantitatively investigating the morphology of inclusion clusters in metal system. On the other hand, to quantitatively estimate the inclusion clusters in metal, it is required to distinguish clusters on two-dimensional (2D) cross-sectional images of the as-polished samples. In this study, TiB 2 particle clusters were prepared in a mechanically agitated crucible containing molten Al at 1 073 K. The samples of Al-TiB2 were measured by X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) to obtain the three-dimensional (3D) information of TiB2 particles and clusters in solid Al. The images of 3D particle clusters in solid Al were extracted and reconstructed by self-developed programs. A series of parameters were defined to describe the 3D characteristics of clusters and their 2D cross-sections. The effects of agitation time and speed on the cluster structure were investigated. A program was developed to distinguish clusters in 2D crosssections through the use of the 3D cluster information (DC-2D-3D) obtained from X-ray micro-CT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1943-1952
Number of pages10
JournalIsij International
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Inclusion coagulation
  • Morphology of cluster
  • Three-dimensional analysis
  • Two-dimensional cluster
  • X-ray micro-CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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