Evaluation of Al-5wt%Si-5wt%Zn as Raw Material for Semisolid Forming
Designing new alloys for semisolid processing is key to the success of semisolid materials technology. While aluminium-silicon and aluminium-zinc alloys have been tested as potential raw materials, ternary aluminium alloys containing silicon and zinc have yet to be tested. As such alloys may exhibit the rheological behaviour required for semisolid forming and the excellent final mechanical properties of Al-Zn alloys, we investigated the thermodynamic aspects of the solid-liquid transition of Al-5.5wt%Si-5wt%Zn alloy, the morphological stability of this alloy in the semisolid temperature range and the corresponding rheological behaviour. Thermo-Calc® simulation software was used to evaluate the solid-to-liquid transition and identify the semisolid temperature range within which the liquid-fraction sensitivity is low and the process is therefore controllable. Based on the results of the simulation, a target temperature of 588 °C was chosen. This is sufficient to produce a liquid fraction of 55 % and a corresponding liquid-fraction sensitivity (dfl/dT) of 0.009 C-1. The Al-5wt%Si-5wt%Zn alloy was prepared by conventional casting in a refrigerated copper mould without grain refining, and the alloy was characterized to determine the stability of the microstructure after heating to 588 °C and holding at this temperature for holding times of 0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 s. The same temperature and holding times were used to evaluate the rheological behaviour in hot compression tests. A grain size of 170 μm, globule size of 100 μm and circularity of 0.6 were achieved, leading to a maximum apparent viscosity of 2 x 105 Pa.s, which rapidly decreased to 3 x 104 Pa.s after a shear rate of 9 s-1 was reached.
Qiang Zhu, Ahmed Rassili, Stephen P. Midson and Xiao Gang Hu
C. T. W. Proni et al., "Evaluation of Al-5wt%Si-5wt%Zn as Raw Material for Semisolid Forming", Solid State Phenomena, Vol. 285, pp. 339-344, 2019