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Title: Blistering in semi-solid die casting of aluminium alloys and its avoidance
Authors: Hu, X. G.
Zhu, Q.
Midson, S. P.
Atkinson, H .V.
Dong, H. B.
Zhang, F.
Kang, Y. L.
First Published: 18-Nov-2016
Publisher: Elsevier for Acta Materialia Inc, Pergamon
Citation: Acta Materialia, 2017, 124, pp. 446-455
Abstract: Semi-solid die casting of relatively high solid-fraction aluminum alloys (0.5–0.7 fraction solid) can be used for the production of high quality industrial components. However, surface blistering during solution heat treatment can still be a problem and is associated with the entrapment of gas whether from air or from burned lubricant. Here the mechanism for formation of blisters is presented. The Reynolds number in the surface layer of the semi-solid flow is then analysed to obtain the relationships with hydraulic diameter and flow velocity for different slurry temperatures. The hypothesis is that it is some flow instability at the flow front, even where the overall nature of the flow is essentially laminar, which is leading to the entrapment. The crucial finding is that if the Reynolds number is plotted against temperature there is a decrease followed by an increase. The position of this minimum is dependent on the ratio of fill velocity to the hydraulic diameter, v/D. Thus there is a ‘sweet spot’ in terms of temperature (i.e. fraction liquid), flow velocity and hydraulic diameter (i.e. die design) where the flow front has the maximum stability, giving maximum resistance to blister formation. This is in contrast with conventional wisdom which would suggest that low fractions liquid would give the most stable flow front. A rationale for this is presented in terms of the particle crowding at the relatively low fraction of liquid. Experimental results with aluminium alloy 319s as an exemplar, and a die which has varying cross sectional dimensions, are presented and validate the hypothesis.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.actamat.2016.11.032
ISSN: 1359-6454
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © 2016 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NCND license (
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Engineering

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