Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Fe-Containing Al-Alloys Processed by a Rheo-Diecasting Process
Al-Fe compounds are usually present in the as-cast microstructure of Al-alloys as large needles or plates. As such, they have a detrimental effect on the mechanical properties of Al-alloys containing Fe, either as an impurity element or as an alloying addition. However, Fe-containing Al-alloys also offer attractive physical properties, such as improved stiffness, wear resistance and thermal resistance. If the needle and plate morphology of the Al-Fe compounds can be modified to a more compact morphology, with refined particle size and uniform distribution, the mechanical properties of Al-Fe based Al-alloys can be substantially improved, and therefore, they will find wider applications in many engineering sectors. A new semisolid metal processing technology, rheodiecasting (RDC), has been developed for production of Al-alloy components with high integrity. The RDC process innovatively combines the dispersive mixing power of the twin-screw mechanism, for the creation of high quality semisolid slurry, with the high efficiency, low cost nature of the high-pressure diecasting (HPDC) process for component shaping. In this paper, we present our experimental results on the effects of intensive melt shearing on the size and morphology of Al-Fe compounds in A380 alloys, with different levels of Fe additions. The experimental results have shown that intensive melt shearing during solidification can effectively change the particle shape from the usual needles and plates, to an equiaxed morphology. Samples which have undergone with melt shearing, exhibit much improved strength and ductility compared to those with the same level of Fe addition, but without exposure to melt shearing.
W.J. Poole, M.A. Wells and D.J. Lloyd
X. Fang et al., "Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Fe-Containing Al-Alloys Processed by a Rheo-Diecasting Process", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 519-521, pp. 1251-1256, 2006