Distribution of the Quality Index in AlSiMg Castings Produced by Different Processes: Reality vs Prediction
The Quality Index is a useful tool allowing to assess the metallurgical quality of aluminium AlSiMg foundry alloys (AlSi7Mg03/AlSi7Mg06, or A356/357 in North America). Its value, calculated from the ultimate tensile strength and elongation, increases with the metallurgical quality of the casting, i.e. with finer dendrites, lower microporosity, lower iron content and cleaner metal. This Quality Index does not depend on the degree of temper applied during the heat treatment (aging time and temperature). This paper will briefly explain how solidification modeling can provide the local value of the Quality Index, via the secondary dendrite arm spacing and level of microporisity calculated from the predicted values of the local solidification time and solidus velocity. The validity of the predictions has been assessed against the properties of tensile specimens excised from parts of different geometries produced by a variety of casting processes, as reported in the literature. The case study of a race car bell housing poured by two processes, namely gravity sand casting (GSC) and low pressure die casting (LPDC, or LPPM for Low Pressure Permanent Mold in North America), will be the focus of the present paper. The Quality Index has been measured and predicted at 3 locations in the castings after a T6 temper was applied which resulted in a minimum elongation of 5% for both the GDC and LPDC bell housings. Metallographic examination and image analysis allowed to quantify the superior metallurgical quality of the LPDC housings when compared to their GDC competitors.
Hajo Dieringa, Norbert Hort and Karl Ulrich Kainer
F. Chiesa et al., "Distribution of the Quality Index in AlSiMg Castings Produced by Different Processes: Reality vs Prediction", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 690, pp. 238-241, 2011