Abstract: Subgrain structures are frequently characterized by the electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) method, which is both accurate and provides good statistics. This is essential to better understand the subgrain growth mechanisms and e.g. establish the driving forces and motilities for comparison with physically based models. However, there is no commercially available software which can provide adequate subgrain boundary maps necessary for e.g. size and misorientation analysis. Here, a method that produces such maps utilizing only commercially available software is presented. The clue is to provide the EBSD-software with a parameter that can be used to identify all subgrains. By combining various maps exported from the EBSD-software into photo editing software, a new map is made in which all subgrain boundaries are identified. Missing and incomplete boundaries are traced manually before a reconstructed subgrain map is generated and imported back into the EBSD-software. With this method, the built-in algorithms in the EBSD-software can be readily used to e.g. characterize subgrain growth in aluminium with respect to orientation, size and misorientation.
Abstract: An A356 aluminum alloy billet which has a dendritic microstructure was compressed and then partially re-melted to semi-solid state before water quenching, by which the spheroidization of Al grains was realized. A color etchant called Weck's reagent was used to characterize both the dendritic and spheroidal microstructure. In both cases, distinct color differences were observed inside Al grains by normal optical microscopy. Interestingly, a dendritic-shaped structure inside the spheroidal Al grains was visualized, which should be the reflection of the original dendrite before heating and partial re-melting. Also, the grain growth during water quenching could be clearly visualized after etching with this reagent. As a result, solid fractions could be evaluated more precisely by excluding the grain growth when measuring the area of solid phase in 2-D micrographs. In order to investigate the coloring mechanism, electron probe micro-analyses were carried out to characterize the micro-segregations inside an Al grain. Results showed that the micro-segregation of Ti had a strong correlation with the color difference. Detailed investigation found that the micro-segregation of Ti could be preserved after heating and partial re-melting due to the extremely low diffusion rate of Ti in Al.
Abstract: Commonly used visualisation methods for observing material flow during extrusion are either labor intensive, prone to loss of the tracer pattern or subject to different flow behaviour than occurs in practice. A novel visualisation method using a copper mesh inlay and computer tomography was developed and used to visualise the flow behaviour of partially extruded EN AW-6082 aluminum billets. In parallel with the physical experiments, a finite element (FE) model was developed and compared with the experiments. The material flow was readily observable from the computer tomography images and the FE model data closely matched the experimental results.
Abstract: The transition temperatures of small amounts of eutectic particles contained in free-cutting aluminum alloys (namely AA6262 and AA6023) are investigated in this paper. Detection of the transition temperatures by conventional differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements is difficult because of the small volume fraction (~ 1wt.%) of the eutectic. On the other hand, the melting of the particles induces small changes of elastic moduli of the alloy, which can be sensitively measured by resonant acoustic methods, for example by resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (RUS). It is shown that the phase transitions of the particles correspond to well-detectable changes of the resonant spectrum, which enables a more detailed characterization of the transition process. A significant thermal hysteresis is observed between the cooling and the heating runs, and also the widths of the temperature ranges in which the transitions occur exhibit a strong melting/freezing asymmetry.
Abstract: Inhomogeneous deformation in polycrystalline material is interesting matter, because the concentration point of deformation relates with the origins of yield, fracture and recrystallization. Plastic strains in three-dimension during tensile deformation have been investigated by using the marker tracking method in synchrotron X-ray microtomography. Three-dimensional position of grains was detected by grain-boundaries visualizing method. The variation of deformation were measured for each grain. We summarized how much degree grains was deformed inhomogeneously comparable to the plastic deformation in whole specimen.
Abstract: Early stages of clustering in quenched Al-Mg-Si alloys during natural ageing were studied by positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy utilizing its unique sensitivity to electron density differences in various atomic defects. Two different positron trapping sites could be identified, one related to a vacancy-type defect, the other to solute clusters. The first trap is deep, i.e. irreversibly traps positrons, the second shallow, from which positrons can escape, which creates the signature of a temperature-dependent positron lifetime. During the first 80 min of NA, the vacancy-related contribution decreases, while the solute clusters increasingly trap positrons, thus reflecting their continuous growth and power to trap positrons. Coincident Doppler broadening spectroscopy of the annihilation radiation shows that the annihilation sites are Si-rich after quenching but contain more Mg after 70 min.
Abstract: Dispersoids are important in 3xxx Al alloys, influencing mechanical properties, texture and recrystallization. In this work α-Al (Fe,Mn)Si dispersoids have been studied after low temperature homogenisation. The common orientation relationship between dispersoids and Al matrix has been reported in earlier studies. Here a systematic study on the orientation relationship and its exceptions is presented. It is found that most of the dispersoids follow the common orientation relationship, [1-1 1] α //[1-1 1]Al , (5-2 -7 ) α //(0 1 1)Al . Here the dispersoids are semi coherent with the Aluminum matrix. Different morphologies and habit planes are possible. Deviations from the most commonly observed orientation relationships are presented and discussed, to underline the complexity of the phase and its relation to the matrix.
Abstract: An important aspect when Al sheets are to be used for visible outer car body panels is surface appearance. Some age-hardenable Al-Mg-Si alloys of the AA 6xxx series can suffer from a phenomenon called roping. Roping appears on a macroscopic scale and manifests itself as the development of ridges and valleys 90° to the original rolling direction with a wavelength ranging from 1 to 10 mm when the sheet is formed to typical parts like doors or hoods. In the past years Al industry has developed means to minimise roping by careful control of alloy composition and through appropriate thermo-mechanical processing schedule. The increasing use of aluminium for outer skin applications gives proof that these efforts were successful. However, the extent of roping, and further the judgment of the quality of the surface appearance has up to now been done on a qualitative basis with comparisons against reference samples, as there are no established experimental techniques and no established analysis procedures for the quantification of this phenomenon. The goal of such a methodology is to be able to quantify the extent of roping in 6xxx automotive car body sheet alloys and to correlate it to a visual appearance ranking of roping. In the present study, a novel combination of a characterisation technique with an evaluation method is used to characterize and evaluate the roping behavior in aluminum alloys. This approach combines these already individually existing methods to a powerful tool: the measurement of a 3D surface topography with a subsequent analysis by means of Fourier analysis. The analysis of various car body sheet grades by means of this technique for uniaxial and biaxial loading conditions is presented in this paper.
Abstract: This work is a study of the segregation of alloying elements and salts to the surface of Direct Chilled-cast (DC-cast) ingots of alloy: (i) AA5083; and (ii) AA5182. The ingots only have slightly different chemical compositions. Alloy AA5182 contains Cu, while alloy AA5083 is grain refined, contains Cr, and is lower in Si and Fe compared to AA5182. The ingot microstructures were investigated using Optical Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS).
The results showed that the surfaces contained aluminum dendrites, large intermetallic crystals (Al6(MnFe) and Al3(Fe,Mn)) and impurities, and small crystals between dendrite arms. Between the dendrites small salt crystals containing Na, K, Ca, Mg, F and/or Cl were found. The conclusion is that salt and minority impurities are mainly located to grain boundaries in the segregation zone.