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25-04-2016 | Issue 6/2016

Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance 6/2016

Precipitation Hardening and Statistical Modeling of the Aging Parameters and Alloy Compositions in Al-Cu-Mg-Ag Alloys

Journal:
Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance > Issue 6/2016
Authors:
A. M. Al-Obaisi, E. A. El-Danaf, A. E. Ragab, M. S. Soliman

Abstract

The addition of Ag to Al-Cu-Mg systems has been proposed to replace the existing high-strength 2xxx and 7xxx Al alloys. The aged Al-Cu-Mg-Ag alloys exhibited promising properties, due to special type of precipitates named Ω, which cooperate with other precipitates to enhance the mechanical properties significantly. In the present investigation, the effect of changing percentages of alloying elements, aging time, and aging temperature on the hardness values was studied based on a factorial design. According to this design of experiments (DOE)—23 factorial design, eight alloys were cast and hot rolled, where (Cu, Mg, and Ag) were added to aluminum with two different levels for each alloying element. These alloys were aged at different temperatures (160, 190, and 220 °C) over a wide range of time intervals from 10 min. to 64 h. The resulting hardness data were used as an input for Minitab software to model and relate the process variables with hardness through a regression analysis. Modifying the alloying elements’ weight percentages to the high level enhanced the hardness of the alloy with about 40% as compared to the alloy containing the low level of all alloying elements. Through analysis of variance (ANOVA), it was figured out that altering the fraction of Cu had the greatest effect on the hardness values with a contribution of about 49%. Also, second-level interaction terms had about 21% of impact on the hardness values. Aging time, quadratic terms, and third-level interaction terms had almost the same level of influence on hardness values (about 10% contribution). Furthermore, the results have shown that small addition of Mg and Ag was enough to improve the mechanical properties of the alloy significantly. The statistical model formulated interpreted about 80% of the variation in hardness values.

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