Cast aluminum alloys are widely used in the automotive field for the production of complex engine parts. However, the mechanical properties of heat-treatable alloys (e.g., Al–Si–Mg or Al–Si–Cu–Mg) are negatively affected by prolonged exposure to temperatures higher than about 200◦C. To date, several researchers have proposed the addition of alloying elements, such as Sc or Hf, for enhancing the high temperature behavior of cast Al alloys, while Mo has not been widely investigated. The present study aimed to assess the effects of Mo addition on microstructure, mechanical properties, and thermal stability of the A354 alloy. Samples of A354 alloy with different amount of Mo (in the range 0.1 to 0.8 wt %) were produced. The casting conditions and heat treatment parameters were optimized by means of optical and scanning electron microscopy, thermal analysis and hardness tests. Tensile tests highlighted that Mo induces a moderate increase of yield strength at room temperature (about 10%), but no appreciable improvement in the performance of the alloy at 250◦C was observed.
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