Thermodynamic Modelling for Thixoformability of Al–Si Alloys for Semisolid Processing
Semisolid metal (SSM) processing or Thixoforming is a viable technology in producing a large variety of near net-shape products for the automotive industry. This process utilized semisolid behavior of metallic alloys as well as reducing macrosegregation, porosity and forming forces. Aluminium alloys with silicon as the main alloying element are the most important aluminium alloys utilized in automotive industries particularly due to the demand for lighter vehicles. Currently, conventional casting alloys such as aluminium A356 and A357 are used for semisolid processing. There is, however, a demand to widen the range of hypoeutectic aluminium-silicon alloys specially tailored for thixoforming process. Thermodynamic calculation software, such as Java-based Material Properties (JMatPro), provides a tool for predicting thixoformability of aluminium alloys. Here, the effects of compositional variations, in particular the effect of added copper and silicon on the thixoformability of alloy A319, have been investigated by using the JMatPro software. This software is used to determine the processing temperature at 0.4 fraction liquid, the temperature of working window, fraction liquid sensitivity and phase diagram during solidification. The alloys modelled were divided into three groups according to their copper and silicon contents. The processing temperature of modified alloys at 0.4 fraction liquid is decreased from 558 °C to 535 °C while the working window temperatures is enlarged from 10 °C to 22 °C. The fraction liquid sensitivity (dfL /dT) fL=0.4 is reduced from 0.018 K−1 to 0.008 K−1 when (x+6) wt% Cu is added. The phase diagram are used to show the location of the intermetallic phases (Al5Cu2MG8Si6, α-Al15(FeMn)3Si2, β-AlFeSi and Al7Cu2M) that dissolve in the semisolid zone. The results indicate the suitability of these modified alloys as a potential material for semisolid processing.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2013
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