Thixoforming of Aluminum A201- Expectations and Fulfilment
Thixoforming as a Semi-Solid Metal Processing (SSM) route is a near net shape forming of metals in the semi-solid state, i.e. within the freezing or melting range between the fully solid and fully liquid states. Aluminum A201 is a copper containing casting alloy with additional small quantities of magnesium, silicon and silver. Although this alloy is difficult to cast, it has a particularly high response to age-hardening and therefore offers mechanical properties close to the wrought 2014 alloy. Alloy development experiments carried out at the University of Sheffield on A201 alloy have shown that feedstock of this alloy can be produced having uniform non-dendritic microstructures amenable to thixoforming, exhibits thixotropic properties under these conditions, can be shaped into complex near net-shape parts and develops impressive mechanical properties after appropriate heat treatment. A201 aluminum alloy billets when thixoformed in the semi-solid state and heat treated with a T7 followed by T6 treatment before being mechanically tested, have exhibited properties approaching those of wrought 2000 series aluminum alloys. Here follows a review of work done to date on shaping the A201 aluminum alloy in the semi-solid state, describing the hopes, expectations and fulfilment of researchers in the field.
Qiang Zhu, Ahmed Rassili, Stephen P. Midson and Xiao Gang Hu
P. Kapranos, "Thixoforming of Aluminum A201- Expectations and Fulfilment", Solid State Phenomena, Vol. 285, pp. 476-488, 2019