Abstract: The Al-alloy die casting die is a sector where the operating environment imposes a very severe aggression to hot working tools. Steel grades for such application, techniques for their surface modification and specifically conceived lubricants are continuously improved so as to limit Al soldering. Within this scenario the interaction between lubricant and die surface and the effect of finishing levels of such surface is poorly studied. This paper deals with a study of the influence of dies surface roughness on the working behavior of a die casting lubricant and on surface damages of a tool steel grade. Tool steel samples were prepared for the research and two different levels of surface roughness (as polished and as finely sand blasted) were investigated. Apart from the base characterization of steels and surface, two specific test rigs were used to study the lubricant-tool steel surface-Al alloy interactions. One of test rig was devoted to study the coupling principles of tool die surface-lubricant, while the other test rig was used to perform a cyclic immersion test in molten Al-alloy. The derived data were compared to the experimental investigation of cracks and craters as provided by cycling with a correlation with the surface finishing level of samples.
Abstract: Semi-solid processing works on the principal of a solidification temperature interval of a substance. The substance is heated to a temperature within this interval so that there exists a related solid-liquid fraction ratio. The substance with this phase structure is then shaped by a forging or casting process. It has been stated before that it is impossible to semi-solid process and cast pure metals or eutectic alloys due to their thermodynamic temperature invariance, meaning that there is no temperature interval. It was demonstrated recently that it is possible to semi-solid casting high purity aluminium (Curle UA, Möller H, Wilkins JD. Scripta Materialia 64 (2011) 479-482) and the Al-Si binary eutectic (Curle UA, Möller H, Wilkins JD. Materials Letters 65 (2011) 1469-1472). The working principal is that there exists a time interval during thermal arrest during which solidification takes place with a solid-liquid fraction ratio until all the liquid is consumed upon cooling. The aim with this work is to demonstrate that pure magnesium can also be rheo-high pressure die cast (R-HPDC) with the system developed at the CSIR in South Africa. Magnesium is notoriously difficult to cast due to the thermal properties of magnesium. The metal was poured into a cup, processed for about 6 seconds after which it was HPDC into a plate. The microstructure of the casting consists of a structure that was solid and a structure that was liquid during thermal arrest at the time of casting.
Abstract: In the past, there have been a lot of effort to solve gas and shrinkage porosity defects in die casting. The common solutions are vacuum technology, jet cooling technology, and application of squeeze pins. However, these solutions often increase the die casting production costs. A new solution that has recently been introduced worldwide is GISS Technology. This technology applies the superheated slurry casting process. Gas and shrinkage porosity defects can be reduced. Furthermore, the production costs are lowered due to die life extension, cycle time reduction, melting energy reduction, and lubrication usage reduction. This paper describes the principle of GISS Technology, and selected applications and case studies are also be presented.
Abstract: 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.
Abstract: An application of semisolid processing to magnesium alloys is described, emphasizing both the fundamental aspects and up-to-date successful industrial applications. The key advantages of the semisolid route are discussed, including longer tool life, tighter dimensional tolerances and better process consistency. The particular attention is paid to reduced temperature of semisolid processing, providing common benefits for magnesium alloys due to their high affinity to oxygen, requiring an expensive protection and leading otherwise to ignition and burning. Major microstructural factors controlling properties of magnesium alloys after semisolid processing are considered. It is concluded that although the reduced temperature results in higher part integrity, it does not create beneficial microstructural characteristics converting to substantially improved mechanical properties.