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