Castings were prepared from both industrial and experimental 319.2, B319.2 and A356.2 alloy melts, containing Fe levels of 0.2–1.0 wt%. Stontium-modified (∼200 ppm) melts were also prepared for each alloy/Fe level. Impact testing of heat-treated samples was carried out using an instrumented Charpy impact testing machine. At low Fe levels and high cooling rates (0.4% Fe, dendrite arm spacing (DAS) of 23 μm), crack initiation and propagation in unmodified 319 alloys occur through the cleavage of β-Al5FeSi platelets (rather than by their decohesion from the matrix). The morphology of the platelets (individual or branched) is important in determining the direction of crack propagation. Cracks also propagate through the fracture of undissolved CuAl2 or other Cu intermetallics, as well as through fragmented Si particles. In Sr-modified 319 alloys, cracks are mostly initiated by the fragmentation or cleavage of perforated β-phase platelets, in addition to that of coarse Si particles and undissolved Cu-intermetallics. In A356.2 alloys, cracks initiate mainly through the fracture of Si particles or their debonding from the Al matrix, while crack propagation occurs through the coalescence of fractured Si particles, except when β-Al5FeSi intermetallics are present, in which case the latter takes precedence. In the Sr-modified case, cracks propagate through the linkage of fractured/debonded Si particles, as well as fragmented β-iron intermetallics. In samples exhibiting low-impact energies, crack initiation and propagation occur mainly through cleavage of the β-iron intermetallics.
Part of the book: Fracture Mechanics
The effects of grain refining in ultra-pure aluminum, commercially pure aluminum (1050), and Al-7%Si binary alloy were investigated, using different additions of Al-10%Ti, Al-5%Ti-1%B, and Al-4%B master alloys. Thermal analysis and metallography were used to assess the variations in microstructure resulting from these additions, at solidification rates of 0.8°C/s and ~10°C/s. The results revealed that addition of Al-4%B to ultra-pure aluminum forms AlB12 and AlB2 which have no grain-refining effect. Without grain refiner addition, the pure aluminum microstructure exhibits a mixture of columnar and equiaxed grains. Addition of 30ppm Ti is sufficient to promote equiaxed grains at ~10°C/s but requires addition of 1000 ppm B to obtain similar results at 0.8°C/s. Increasing the Si content to 7% reduces the initial grain size of pure aluminum from 2800 μm to ~1850 μm, and further to 450 μm with ddition of ~500ppm B. In commercial aluminum, the B reacts with traces of Ti forming Al3Ti and TiB2 phases which are active grain-refiners. In Al-7%Si, Ti reacts with Si forming (Al,Si)2Ti phase, which is a poor refining agent. This phenomenon is termed poisoning. No interaction between B and Si is observed in the commercial aluminum or Al-7%Si alloy when B is added.
Part of the book: Aluminium Alloys
This study was carried out on a series of heat-treatable Al-Si-Mg alloys to determine the effects of Fe, Mg, Sr and Be addition on their microstructural characteristics and tensile properties. The results showed that the eutectic temperature was reduced by 10°C with 0.8 wt% Mg addition. The solidification curves and first derivatives of Sr-free alloys with high Fe and Mg contents revealed a peak at 611°C consequent to the formation of a script-like Be-Fe (Al8Fe2BeSi) phase, which was very close to the peak for α-Al. The morphology of the β-iron platelets underwent changes due to their dissolution, thinning, necking, and fragmentation with increase in solutionizing time. Increased Mg contents are beneficial to the tensile properties unlike the detrimental effect of increasing Fe contents. Additions of Be and Sr noticeably improved the properties at the same Fe and/or Mg contents, the enhancements being markedly observed at higher Mg contents and reduced Fe levels. At high Fe levels, addition of Be is preferable as it neutralizes the deleterious effects of Fe in these alloys; however, addition of 500 ppm Be is inadequate for interacting with other alloying elements.
Part of the book: Solidification
There is direct proportionality between ultimate tensile stress (UTS) and residual stresses (RS). Residual stresses gradually decrease with decreasing cooling/quenching rates. Quenching in cold water develops highest, whereas air cooling produces lowest, residual stresses. Significant increase in RS is observed in specimens with low dendrite arm spacing (high solidification rate), while lower residual stresses are measured in specimens with high dendrite arm spacing (low solidification rate). For I-4 and V-6 engine blocks, there is refinement in microstructure due to the increase in solidification rate along the cylinder length. The developed residual stresses are normally tensile in both engine types. Air cooling following solution heat treatment produces higher RS compared to warm water and cold water quenching. Solution heat treatment and freezing lead to maximum RS relaxation where 50% of the stresses are reduced after the solution heat treatment step. Aging time and temperature are directly proportional to the residual stresses relaxation. Relaxation of RS also depends on the geometry and size of the workpiece. It should be mentioned here that the I-4 and V-6 cylinder blocks were provided by Nemak-Canada (Windsor-Ontario-Canada). Residual stress measurements technique and procedure are typical of those used by the automotive industry in order to provide reliable data for industrial applications supported by intensive experiments.
The present study focuses on the porosity formation in three Al-Si cast alloys widely used in automotive industries viz. A319.0, A356.0, and A413.0 alloys under various conditions: stirring, degassing. Sr level, amount of grain refining, combined modification and grain refining, as well as hydrogen level. The solidification rate was the same for all alloys in terms of the mold used and its temperature. The microstructural investigations were carried out quantitatively using an optical microscope-image analyzer system scanning systematically over a polished sample area of 25 mm × 25 mm and qualitatively using an electron probe microanalzer equipped with EDS and WDS systems. The results were coupled with hardness measurements.
Part of the book: Casting Processes and Modelling of Metallic Materials
The present article reviews a large number of research publications on the effect of mischmetal (MM), rare earth metals (RE), La or Ce, and combinations of La + Ce on the performance of Al-Si cast alloys mainly 319, 356, 380, 413, and 390 alloys. Most of these articles focused on the use of rare earth metals as a substitute for strontium (Sr) as a eutectic silicon (Si) modifier if added in low percentage (< 1 wt.%) to avoid precipitation of a significant amount of insoluble intermetallics and hence poor mechanical properties. Other points that were considered were the affinity of RE to react with Sr., reducing its effectiveness as modifier, as well as the grain refining efficiency of the added RE in any form. None of these articles mentioned the exact composition of the RE used and percentage of tramp elements inherited from the parent ore. Using high purity La or Ce proved to have no effect on the Si shape, size or distribution, in particular at low solidification rates (thick sections). However, regardless the source of the RE, its addition to Sr-modified alloys reduced the modification effect. As for grain refining, apparently a high percentage of RE (> 1 wt.%) is required to achieve a noticeable reduction in grain size, however at the cost of alloy brittleness.