Commercial aluminum alloys corresponding to Al-Cu-Si family are commonly used in casting and molding process because their high castability. The main characteristics of these alloys are the excellent weight/strength relation in conjunction with wear and corrosion resistance. Additionally, the mechanical properties of these alloys could be enhanced by heat treatment.
In Al A319 alloys, Cu and Mg are the main responsible to increase the mechanical properties after T6 heat treatment due to the precipitation of Al2Cu and Mg2Si and Al2CuMg phase . Combined effects of Ni and Cu improve strength and hardness at relatively elevated temperature , Due to the low solubility of Ni in Al (0.04%), it has been reported the formation of FeAl9FeNi-type intermetallic, which is not totally dissolved with the typical solution treatments used in aluminum alloys . Hayajneh et al., found that increasing amounts of intermetallic compounds Al3Ni, Al3(CuNi)2 and Al7Cu4Ni in Al-Cu alloy, the hardness increase .
The effect of Ni addition and solution treatment time on the microstructure and hardness of the Al A319 alloy are studied by Vickers microhardness (VHN), Rockwell B hardness (HRB), X Ray Diffraction (XRD), Optical Microscopy (OM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).