Variation of Properties in the Cross-Section of Semi-Solid Al-7Si-0.3Mg Castings
In semi-solid casting, a slurry consisting of primary α-Al crystals and liquid is injected into the die cavity. The solidification in the die-cavity occurs by the growth of the primary α-Al crystals formed during slurry preparation and in the shot sleeve, nucleation and growth of in-cavity solidified crystals and ends with the eutectic reaction. During solidification in the die cavity, the cooling rate near the die wall is higher in comparison to the centre of the casting, particularly for thick-walled castings. The solidification conditions for the slurry α-Al crystals that are closer to the die wall can be very different compared to the slurry α-Al crystals located at the casting centre. This can result in different solute concentration in the interior of the α-Al globules in different regions of the semi-solid casting cross-section and consequently, different response to heat treatament. The RheoMetal™ process was used to produce thick-walled semi-solid castings. Semi-solid castings in the as-cast and T6 conditions were investigated. Indentation tests for hardness measurements in the nano-range were performed in the interior of α-Al globules near the surface and at the casting cross-section centre. The hardness variation across the casting cross-section was evaluated by low-force Vickers hardness. The castings in the as-cast condition showed more uniform properties in the cross-section compared to the T6 condition. Additionally, the results suggest that microsegregation in the interior of α-Al globules is very low in castings in the as-cast and T6 conditions.
Qiang Zhu, Ahmed Rassili, Stephen P. Midson and Xiao Gang Hu
J. Santos et al., "Variation of Properties in the Cross-Section of Semi-Solid Al-7Si-0.3Mg Castings", Solid State Phenomena, Vol. 285, pp. 81-86, 2019