Microstructure, segregation and mechanical properties of A356 alloy components fabricated by rheo-HPDC combined with the swirled enthalpy equilibration device (SEED) process
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
The challenges commonly associated with conventional high pressure die casting (HPDC) have led to increased interest in semi-solid metal (SSM) forming processes. In the present study, semi-solid slurries of A356 alloy prepared by the Swirled Enthalpy Equilibration Device (SEED) process were used for manufacturing components with complex shape by using a high pressure die casting machine. The segregation phenomenon and the effect of heat treatment on the microstructure evolution and mechanical properties were investigated. The results showed that the alloy consists of primary spherical a-Al grains, secondary solidified a-Al grains, eutectic Si, iron-rich intermetallic phases and low porosities. The microstructural investigations revealed that the eutectic Si particles underwent fragmentation, spheroidization and coarsening with increasing solution temperature. Furthermore, the solution treatment results in the dissolution of the p-Al8FeMg3Si6 phase and the growth of the b-Al5FeSi phase. The hardening peaks at 170 C could be obtained with ageing for 5 h. Due to both solution and precipitation strengthenings, the yield strength, ultimate tensile strength and hardness of A356 alloy after heat treatment increase significantly compared to those in the as-rheocast state: they reach 266 MPa, 343 MPa and 110 HV0.2, respectively. The analysis of fracture surfaces of rheo-HPDC samples in both the as-rheocast and the heat-treated states revealed a mixed mechanism of dimples and quasi-cleavage. The microstructure inside the part was found to be quasihomogeneous while the segregation phenomenon in different zones of the part is affected by die geometry during the filling process. The results imply that the SEED-HPDC
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