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01-09-2013 | Issue 9/2013

Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance 9/2013

Water-Air Spray Cooling of Extruded Profiles: Process Integrated Heat Treatment of the Alloy EN AW-6082

Journal:
Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance > Issue 9/2013
Authors:
M. Nowak, O. Golovko, F. Nürnberger, I. Frolov, M. Schaper

Abstract

Quenching by spray cooling in the press line is a promising way to harden Al-Mg-Si alloys with regard to reducing profile distortion. For alloys such as EN AW-6082, high cooling rates are required. A device for spray cooling by means of water and compressed air was integrated into a 10 MN horizontal, hydraulic, short-stroke extrusion press. Various spray parameters were investigated. By using 32 water-air nozzles having a total water deposition rate of about 15 L/min and extruding with a profile velocity of 2.5 m/min, high mechanical properties were imparted to 30 mm diameter extruded rods. This arrangement ensures the extruded alloy is cooled to almost room temperature. Comparable properties can be achieved by water quenching, although the water consumption will be tenfold higher. The distribution of water deposition density on the profiles’ surfaces was determined. It was shown that an adjustment of the water-air pressure ratio allows the final temperature of the profiles to be controlled over a wide range. Minimization of temperature gradients in the cross section of complex profiles allows profile distortions to be reduced.

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