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|Title:||Quantitative Metallography, Optimization of HVHPC Process and Modelling Solute Homogenization During Solutionizing of Al-4Zn-1Mg-1.2Fe-0.1Ti Alloy|
|Keywords:||metallography;structural casting;high pressure die casting;alloy development;aluminum alloy|
|Abstract:||High pressure die casting (HPDC) is both a cost-efficient and high throughput method for making near-net shape castings. 7xxx series aluminum alloys are excellent candidates for manufacturing structural components for significant light-weighting opportunities in the automotive industry. This project explores the development of a new 7xxx series aluminum alloy with iron additions to improve castability. The main objective of this project is to develop an optimized heat treatment process for the new Al-Zn-Mg-Fe alloy to achieve solute homogenization in the primary Al grains. The rationale behind adding iron as an alloying element was presented, as well as an analysis of the Al-Fe intermetallic phases to show their mitigating effects on hot tearing. A detailed analysis of the casting quality was carried out, including detailed microstructural analyses of defects and defect-free castings, correlating process parameters, shot profiles, uniaxial tensile properties, and fractography. Improvements on casting conditions and parameters were suggested. Solution heat treatments were carried out between 0.25 and 24 hours and quenched with forced air. Bulk hardness measurements were obtained following solution heat treatment to determine the arrest times for the precipitation reactions during natural aging. The uniaxial tensile properties of the alloy in the F- and T4-tempers were presented. Microstructural analyses of the alloy were carried out by optical and electron microscopy (SEM), including phase identification, phase fraction, average grain size, and distribution. A predictive model for the homogenization of the solutes in the Al matrix was developed using a one-dimensional diffusion model with spherical geometry, and a MATLAB code was developed to time for complete homogenization. Electron-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) line scans were carried out on the F and T4 samples (0.25-2h) and the concentration profiles of Zn and Mg (the diffusing solutes) were extracted and analyzed. The models were verified and validated with experiment data.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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