Microstructural and mechanical behaviors of semi-solid 7075 aluminum alloy were investigated during semi-solid processing. The strain induced melt activation (SIMA) process consisted of applying uniaxial compression strain at ambient temperature and subsequent semi-solid treatment at 600–620 °C for 5–35 min. Microstructures were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). During the isothermal heating, intermetallic precipitates were gradually dissolved through the phase transformations of α-Al + η (MgZn2
) → liquid phase (L) and then α-Al + Al2
CuMg (S) + Mg2
Si → liquid phase (L). However, Fe-rich precipitates appeared mainly as square particles at the grain boundaries at low heating temperatures. Cu and Si were enriched at the grain boundaries during the isothermal treatment while a significant depletion of Mg was also observed at the grain boundaries. The mechanical behavior of different SIMA processed samples in the semi-solid state were investigated by means of hot compression tests. The results indicated that the SIMA processed sample with near equiaxed microstructure exhibits the highest flow resistance during thixoforming which significantly decreases in the case of samples with globular microstructures. This was justified based on the governing deformation mechanisms for different thixoformed microstructures.
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