Comparison of Morphological Evolution of Al-7wt%Si-2.5wt%Cu Alloy Produced by Direct Chill Casting/Electromagnetic Stirring and ECAP
In semisolid state forming the thermodynamic control of the solid liquid transition is necessary but not sufficient condition for having a good processing. For thixoforming it is critical to have a refined microstructure that during the heating to the semisolid state, achieve a mixture of small spheres immerse in liquid, which is crucial in order to get the best rheological properties for the slurry. This work compares the morphological evolution at the semisolid state of the Al-7wt%Si-2.5wt%Cu alloy produced by a) direct chill casting under electromagnetic stirring (EMS) combined with grain refinement and b) processed via one single pass in an equal channel angular pressing. EMS introduces metal flow during solidification that allows the better distribution of the nuclei provide by the grain refiner. ECAP has emerged as a promising technique capable of imposing large homogeneous deformations in metals, that could leads to a optimal grain refining. The ECAP deformation occurs in a die that contains two channels of the same cross-sectional area and form an angle of 120°. The raw materials were submitted to a heating treatment in order to reach 60% liquid fraction, at soaking times of 0s, 30s, 90s and 210s and the microstructure was evaluated via B&W and color metalography. Comparing the two production processes, it is observed that the ECAP process is highly efficient: while the traditional EMS method produced grains about 150 μm size, ECAP technique achieved grains of 60 μm, providing a fully globular structure, which exhibit favorable characteristics for the thixoforming process reaching to apparent viscosity about 2*104Pa.s.
L. V. Torres et al., "Comparison of Morphological Evolution of Al-7wt%Si-2.5wt%Cu Alloy Produced by Direct Chill Casting/Electromagnetic Stirring and ECAP", Solid State Phenomena, Vol. 256, pp. 17-24, 2016