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Thixoforming and Rheo-Die-Casting of A356/SiC Composite

Faculty of Engineering, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2020, 10(2), 251;
Received: 27 December 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2020 / Accepted: 10 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Net-Shape Die Casting of Semi-solid Alloys)
This research investigated the rheo-die-casting process and the production of an A356/ silicon carbide (SiC) composite by a thixoforming. The composite contained 15 percent by weight SiC particles of around 15–37 µm in size as the reinforcing phase. The composite feedstock was produced by semi-solid stir-casting, where pretreated SiC powder was gradually added into the A356 alloy melt to form a continuously stirred slurry composite melt, which was then cast in a steel mold. For thixoforming, the feedstock was reheated to 583 °C (approximately 0.4 fraction liquid), and its viscosity was reduced with shear rate, implying that A356/SiC exhibits shear thinning or non-Newtonian behavior. This is caused by the characteristic billet structure obtained having relatively globular grains that accommodate the flow of the semisolid composite. In the rheo-die-casting process, the A356/SiC feedstock was re-melted at 610–615 °C (approximately 0.8–0.9 fraction liquid) prior to die-casting and the resulting slurry was injected into a die with injection speeds of 3 and 4 m/s and pressures of 11 and 12 MPa, respectively. Two work-pieces of 16 × 15.6 × 205 mm3 were produced in one shot, and the resulting samples were subjected to T6 solution treatment at 540 °C for 1 h, quenched, and aged at 135 °C for 12 h. The results show that both low speed and low pressure rheo-die-cast samples exhibit uneven filling at the end of the part, whilst both high pressure and high speed promote more uniform distribution of SiC particles throughout the part length. In the as-rheo-cast condition, the maximum hardness value is 82.16 HB, obtained from a rheo-cast sample cast at a speed of 4 m/s with a die pressure of 12 MPa.
Keywords: A356/SiC composite; rheo-die-casting; thixoforming A356/SiC composite; rheo-die-casting; thixoforming
MDPI and ACS Style

Talangkun, S.; Potisawang, C.; Saenpong, P. Thixoforming and Rheo-Die-Casting of A356/SiC Composite. Metals 2020, 10, 251.

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