The Metallurgy of Homogenisation
Homogenisation of aluminium alloys is the high temperature heat treatment (450-600 °C) performed after casting and consists of three distinct steps; heat-up, soak and cooldown. This review considers the metallurgical importance of homogenisation and how it impacts on the further processing and final properties of some aluminium alloys, with emphasis on homogenisation of extrusion billet. The introduction of continuous homogenisation has significantly improved the temperature uniformity of homogenisation allowing the soak time to be minimised. Batch homogenisation, however, provides flexibility in practices tailored for different aluminium alloys. Soft 6060 and 6063 alloys are best homogenised at a higher soak temperature than harder alloys such as 6061 and 6082. The homogenisation cooling rate can also impact on the behaviour of the billet during extrusion processing as well as affecting the final mechanical properties. An understanding of the microstructural changes occurring as a result of homogenisation allows the cast house to ensure that the billet processing meets the customer requirements.
A.Prasad, J.A. Taylor and J.F. Grandfield
B. Rinderer "The Metallurgy of Homogenisation", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 693, pp. 264-275, 2011