January 17, 2023
Microstructure-refinement-driven enhanced tensile properties of high-pressure die-cast A380 alloy through friction stir processing
AbstractThis work employs friction stir processing (FSP), a well-known severe plastic deformation technique, to selectively modify the microstructure of thin-walled, high-pressure die-cast (HPDC) aluminum alloy A380, a major HPDC alloy fabricated in the die casting sector. FSP effectively breaks down Al dendrites and acicular Si particles, creating a homogenized distribution of equiaxed Si particles in the aluminum matrix. After FSP, the refined Si particles (~1.5 µm) are smaller than the eutectic Si particles (3–8 µm) in HPDC condition. In addition, interparticle distance has decreased almost 50% compared to dendritic arm spacing, and FSP has reduced the aspect ratio of Si particles to ~2. Furthermore, FSP eliminates porosity, and breaks down needle-like second-phase Fe-Mn and Cu-rich particles, yielding a refined, homogeneous distribution. The FSP-induced microstructural refinement and porosity reduction improve bulk yield strength and ductility by 23% and 66%. Tensile properties are enhanced beyond those of the die skin of the HPDC plate, and the alloy possesses lower defect density and a highly refined microstructure. This study establishes the viability of FSP as a tool for microstructure modification and mechanical property improvement for HPDC Al alloys for the light-weighting goal of the automotive industries.
Published: January 17, 2023