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In castings, microstructural features are products of metal chemistry and solidification conditions. The microstructural features, excluding defects, that most strongly affect the mechanical properties or aluminum castings are size, form, and distribution of intermetallic phases; dendrite arm spacing; grain size and shape; and eutectic modification and primary phase refinement. This chapter discusses the effects of these microstructural features on properties and methods for controlling them. The chapter concludes with a detailed examination of the refinement of hypereutectic aluminum-silicon alloys.

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