Continuous Casting of Magnesium Billets for Semi-Solid Processing
Semi-solid processing is recognized as an attractive alternative method for the near net-shape production of engineering components. Although there has been a significant progress in semi-solid processing of aluminum alloys, very limited information is available on semi-solid processing of magnesium alloys, except for the thixomolding process. Continuous casting process has been utilized to produce the billets with the desirable cross-section at a reduced production cost for many metals, such as steel, copper and aluminum alloys. It has also been commercially utilized to produce the aluminum billets with non-dendritic microstructure for subsequent thixocasting process. However, continuous casting of magnesium billets for semi-solid processing has not yet been commercialized due to the difficulties involved in casting of magnesium alloys. In the present study, a continuous casting process has been developed for the production of the cylindrical billets of magnesium alloys for the subsequent thixocasting process. In order to obtain the desired non-dendritic microstructure with an excellent degree of homogeneity both in microstructure and composition, an electromagnetic stirring system has been utilized. A continuous casting process has been proven to be an efficient way to produce the high quality billets of magnesium alloys for semi-solid processing. A prototype air conditioner cover was produced using the continuously cast billets of AZ91 alloy.
Z.Y. Zhong, H. Saka, T.H. Kim, E.A. Holm, Y.F. Han and X.S. Xie
H. C. Jung and K. S. Shin, "Continuous Casting of Magnesium Billets for Semi-Solid Processing", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 475-479, pp. 517-520, 2005