TitleGrain Refinement of Aluminum and Magnesium Alloys: Theory and Practice
WhenSunday, February 16, 8:30 to 4:30 p.m.
LocationMarriott Marquis and Marina - Laguna
Sponsored ByTMS Light Metals Division
InstructorsGreg Hildeman, AMG Aluminium; Alan Luo, The Ohio State University; Wolfgang Schneider, Hydro Aluminium GmbH; Peter Schumacher, University of Leoben; David St John, The University of Queensland
Advance Member: $525.00
Advance Nonmember: $575.00
Advance Student: $300.00
Late/onsite Member: $600.00
Late/onsite Nonmember: $650.00
Late-/onsite Student: $350.00
* Registration fees include a continental breakfast, breaks, and lunch
Grain Refinement of Aluminum and Magnesium Alloys: Theory and Practice

Grain refinement is a melt treatment procedure to achieve an equiaxed grain structure of DC cast ingots and shape castings. An equiaxed grain structure facilitates fabrication and improves the yield of wrought products and the soundness of castings. To achieve efficient grain refinement, knowledge is required about the grain refinement mechanisms, the different types of grain refiners, the grain refinement treatment process and the methods for the determination of the grain refinement result, i.e. the grain size. Benefits of the course include transfer of knowledge to enable reduction in grain refiner costs and achievement of consistent high-quality cast products. The importance of grain refiner to control of cracking defects will also be discussed.

Learn About
* Fundamentals of nucleation and grain growth
* Fundamentals of grain refinement with TiB2 and TiC for aluminum and Zr for magnesium alloys
* Grain refiner alloys, grain refiner tests and grain size measurement
* Influence of grain refinement on product quality
* Practice of grain refinement in DC casting and shape casting
* Influence of casting conditions on grain refinement
Grain Refinement of Aluminum and Magnesium Alloys: Theory and Practice

This course is intended for technical and operations personnel involved in primary and secondary cast houses and shape casting of aluminium and magnesium. The course will also be of benefit to university researchers and grain refiner producers.


Greg Hildeman is the Vice President Technology of AMG Aluminum and is responsible for development of grain refiners, master alloy hardeners, and specialty alloys. He has over 30 years of experience in the aluminum industry. Prior to joining AMG Aluminum, Dr. Hildeman was the Manager of the Molten Metal Processing Division at Alcoa's Technical Center. He was responsible for leading Alcoa's worldwide ingot technology research activities in the areas of recycling, melting, alloying, grain refinement, metal treatment, casting and solidification. Dr. Hildeman received a Sc.D. in Metallurgy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has Masters and Bachelor degrees in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. In 2004, he was President of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS).

Alan Luo is Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and of Integrated Systems Engineering (Manufacturing) at The Ohio State University (OSU). Prior to joining OSU in July 2013, Dr. Luo was GM Technical Fellow at General Motors Research and Development Center with more than 20 years of industrial experience in light metals. Dr. Luo has 15 patents and more than 170 technical publications in alloy development and advanced manufacturing. Dr. Luo received the ASM (American Society of Metals) Materials Science Research Silver Medal in 2008 and Fellow Award in 2013, and USCAR (United States Council for Automotive Research) Special Recognition Award in 2009. He has also received the 2013 Brimacombe Medalist Award from TMS (The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society). Dr. Luo's research is also recognized by several Best Paper awards from TMS, SAE (Society for Automotive Engineers) and AFS (American Foundry Society).

Wolfgang Schneider is head of the research and development (R&D) center of Hydro Aluminium Deutschland GmbH in Bonn, Germany. He started his career with the company more than 26 years ago. Before taking over responsibility for the R&D center in 2002, Dr. Schneider was head of the casting and recycling department. He is also a professor of metallurgy at the Technical University of Berlin. Dr. Schneider's research interests include D.C. casting, filtration, modelling, alloy development, and engine casting. He received his doctorate from the Technical University of Berlin in metallurgy.

Peter Schumacher holds the Chair of Casting Research at the University of Leoben and is the managing director of the Austrian Foundry Research Institute in Leoben, Austria. His academic career has been in close collaboration with the aluminium industry, including Alcan Int. Banbury and LSM Rotherham United Kingdom, and led to an advanced EPSRC research fellowship at the University of Oxford. His research interests include D.C. and shape casting, grain refinement and modification of casting alloys, light alloy development, and melt metallurgy. He received his doctorate in materials science in 1994 from the University of Cambridge.

David St. John is the Director of the Centre of Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing (AMPAM) at the University of Queensland. He has a long record of research in the grain refinement of the light alloys aluminum, magnesium and titanium. He has also worked with industry in collaborative research programs such as the CAST Cooperative Research Centre, which Professor StJohn led until 2008. His major research interests are in the grain refinement and hot tearing of aluminium and magnesium alloys. Professor StJohn is a graduate of the University of Queensland.