Influence of Intensive Melt Shearing on the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of an Al-Mg Alloy with High Added Impurity Content
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- Kumar, S., Hari Babu, N., Scamans, G.M. et al. Metall and Mat Trans A (2011) 42: 3141. doi:10.1007/s11661-011-0722-z
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We have investigated the influence of melt conditioning by intensive shearing on the mechanical behavior and microstructure of Al-Mg-Mn-Fe-Cu-Si alloy sheet produced from a small book mold ingot with high added impurity content. The melt conditioned ingot has fine grains throughout its cross section, whereas a conventionally cast ingot, without melt shearing, has coarser grains and shows a wider variation of grain size. Both needle-shaped and coarse Chinese script iron bearing intermetallic particles are found in the microstructure at the center of the conventionally processed ingot, but for the melt conditioned ingot, only fine Chinese script intermetallic particles are observed. In addition to the iron bearing intermetallics, Mg2Si particles are also observed. The ingots were rolled to thin sheet and solution heat treated (SHT). During rolling, the iron-based intermetallics and Mg2Si particles are broken and aligned along the rolling direction. Yield strength (YS), ultimate tensile strength (UTS), and elongation of the intensively melt sheared and processed sheet are all improved compared to the conventionally cast and processed sheet. Fractographic analysis of the tensile fracture surfaces shows that the clustered and coarse iron bearing intermetallic particles are responsible for the observed reduction in mechanical properties of the conventionally cast sheet. We have shown that by refining the initial microstructure of the ingot by intensive shear melt conditioning, it is possible to achieve improved mechanical properties at the final sheet gage of an AlMgMn alloy with a high content of impurities.