AbstractSteadily rising demand for glider weight reduction has driven the development of vacuum-assisted high-pressure die-cast (HPDC) Al-alloys for automotive structural components. Aural-5 is a strontium-modified HPDC alloy utilizing manganese (Mn) to reduce die soldering, eliminating detrimental needle-shaped Fe-bearing ß-phase intermetallic and improving ductility. HPDC Aural-5 contains shrinkage porosity, dendrites with Al-Si eutectic colonies, externally solidified crystals (ESCs), shear-band structure, and large second-phase particulates. Porosity, ESCs and large second-phase particles work as crack initiation sites, negatively impacting tensile properties. In this study, friction stir processing (FSP) is employed for microstructural modification of a thin-walled HPDC Aural-5 by eliminating porosity and breaking down dendrites, second-phase particles, eutectic colonies, ESCs and shear-band structures to create wrought microstructure with homogenized particle distribution. Mechanical property characterization indicates ~30% and ~35% enhancement in yield strength and ductility and associated marked effects on ~69% improvement in tear toughness according to the ASTM B871 test.
Published: April 19, 2023