Application of novel heat treatments for aluminium high pressure die castings to industrially produced components
Author: Lumley, R. N.
Source: International Heat Treatment & Surface Engineering, Volume 3, Number 3, September 2009 , pp. 115-120(6)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:High pressure die casting (HPDC) is widely used as a cost effective way to mass produce metal components that are required to have close dimensional tolerances and smooth surface finishes, accounting for ?50% of the aluminium castings produced worldwide. These components are not considered to be heat treatable by conventional means because the high temperatures involved with solution treatment cause surface blistering and dimensional instability. A new heat treatment procedure involving a truncated solution treatment at lower than conventional temperatures alleviates this problem and can significantly improve mechanical properties, in many cases, doubling the 0·2% proof strength after artificial (T6) aging. This may enable current HPDC parts to be redesigned to use less metal while still achieving the required performance. The cost of heat treatment can be easily offset by the reduction in metal content and productivity improvements which result in an overall lower cost of the part. The new process also creates opportunities to substitute for some other cast or wrought products with aluminium HPDC parts of lower weight and lower cost. Application of this heat treatment technology to a range of industrially produced HPDC components is discussed and the cost advantages are briefly considered.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Light Metals Flagship, CSIRO, Private Bag 33, Clayton South MDC, Vic. 3169, Australia
Publication date: 2009-09-01