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29-03-2019 | Issue 4/2019

Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance 4/2019

Microstructure and Properties of A356 Alloy Wheels Fabricated by Low-Pressure Die Casting with Local Squeeze

Journal:
Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance > Issue 4/2019
Authors:
Jia-Min Huang, Hai-Dong Zhao, Zhen-Ming Chen
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Abstract

The low-pressure die-casting process (LPDC) is widely used in fabricating aluminum alloy automotive wheels. With good castability and mechanical properties, A356 alloys are important and common materials for LPDC wheels. However, in practical casting process, defects often appear, especially porosities in the wheel thick-walled parts (i.e., spoke) due to inadequate interdendritic feeding, which greatly decreases the mechanical properties. In this investigation, to deal with this problem, local squeeze (LS) was added in conventional LPDC to enhance the interdendritic feeding. The practical A356 alloy wheel castings were fabricated with different LS velocities and times. The quantitative characteristics of α-Al cells, Si particles, and porosities with and without the LS analyzed by optical microscope, scanning electron microscope, and 3D x-ray computed tomography were compared. Their effects on the tensile and impact properties were discussed. The results have shown that the LS can increase the cooling rate and feed shrinkage of spoke parts, hence resulting in finer grains and denser microstructure. In result, the properties of spoke parts were improved with the LS.

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