Self- and solute diffusion, interdiffusion and thermal vacancies in the system iron-aluminium

Helmut Mehrer, Martin Luckabauer, Wolfgang Sprengel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Starting from fundamental aspects of thermal vacancies and solid-state self- and solute diffusion, this paper reviews procedures for tracer- and interdiffusion studies and of the major techniques for vacancy studies by dilatometry and positron annihilation in metals. Equilibrium vacancy and diffusion studies performed on pure iron and aluminium are mentioned at first. We also comment some peculiarities of solute diffusion in aluminium. Positron annihilation and differential dilatometry studies for Fe-Al alloys with various compositions are summarized and new experimental studies by the authors are reported for vacancy migration in Fe61Al39. All these studies indicate a relatively high fraction of thermal vacancies with relatively low mobility in this type of iron-aluminides as compared to pure metals. Tracer diffusion of iron and of several substitutional solutes such as Co, Ni, Cr, Mn, Zn, and In in Fe-Al from the Münster laboratory are summarized. The diffusion studies of Fe-Al cover various alloy composition between Fe 3Al and FeAl and several structures such as A2, B2 and D0 3. Interdiffusion coefficients obtained from diffusion couples between Fe-Al alloys are discussed together with Fe tracer diffusion data. The Darken-Manning equation is used to deduce Al diffusivities therefrom. The latter are hardly accessible to radiotracer experiments due to a lack of a suitable Al tracer. Diffusion of Al is slightly faster than diffusion of Fe indicating diffusion mechanisms with coupled jumps of Fe and Al atoms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecent Advances in Mass Transport in Engineering Materials
EditorsAndreas Öchsner, Irina V. Belova, Graeme E. Murch
PublisherTrans Tech Publications Ltd
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9783037856475
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aluminium
  • Defects
  • Differential dilatometry
  • Interdiffusion
  • Iron
  • Iron-aluminium alloys
  • Positron annihilation
  • Self-diffusion
  • Solute diffusion
  • Thermal vacancies
  • Vacancy migration


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