Influence of Billet Quality on Hot Extrusion Die Life and its Relationship with Process Parameters
Apart from other factors such as die design and manufacturing, heat treatment, working conditions etc, performance of hot extrusion die can directly be related to the billet quality used in the extrusion press. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of Al-6063 billet source (primary or secondary) on extrusion die life based on microstructural and statistical analyses. In microstructural investigation, secondary (remelt) billet cast in-house at local extrusion plant is compared with primary (smelter) billet by applying different material characterization techniques including optical microscopy, hardness measurement, X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). The statistical study is based on the failure history of some 53 hollow-profile dies in which the effect of billet quality on various measurable process parameters including extrusion ratio, billet temperature, exit temperature and repeated nitriding is analysed and related with useful die service life. Comparatively coarse grain structure, non-homogeneous distribution of secondary phases, and high hardness in the case of secondary billet were found responsible for poor die performance as observed in statistical investigation of failed dies. Two types of regression models are also proposed for prediction of die life in terms of secondary billets’ usage and measurable influencing parameters. Using current results, some suggestions during in-house billet preparation of secondary billets have been devised for improved die life.
M. S. J. Hashmi, B. S. Yilbas and S. Naher
S.S. Akhtar et al., "Influence of Billet Quality on Hot Extrusion Die Life and its Relationship with Process Parameters", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 83-86, pp. 866-873, 2010