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Semisolid Processing and Squeeze Casting of Alloys and Composites

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Metals and Alloys".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2023) | Viewed by 8979

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
Interests: alloys; hot deformation; microstructure; deformation mechanisms; properties
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology at Weihai, Weihai, China
Interests: semisolid processing of aluminum alloys; squeeze casting of alloys and composites; precision forging

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Semisolid processing (SSP) and squeeze casting (SC) are two typical near-net-shape technologies for forming of alloys and composites. They have been widely used in the automotive, motorcycle, aerospace, weapons, and 3C fields due to their low resistance to deformation, short processing time, and low cost. A large number of materials have been used in semisolid processing and squeeze casting, which include aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, superalloys, steel, copper alloys, titanium alloys, and iron as well as their composites. In addition to casting alloys, wrought alloys are also used in semisolid processing and squeeze casting. This indicates that semisolid processing and squeeze casting have a wide range of applications in the field of materials. Semisolid processing involves fabrication of semisolid slurry and forming in the semisolid state. Squeeze casting is defined as a process in which liquid metal is poured (or injected) into a die cavity and solidified under a high pressure. Though there are some differences between these two technologies, they also have some obvious similarities. For example, in semisolid processing, the typical technology is referred to as semisolid squeeze casting, in which a semisolid slurry is used in squeeze casting. The typical and similar characteristics of these two technologies include solidification of liquid metal under high pressure and plastic deformation of the solid phase.

Energy conservation and emission reduction are also important factors to consider in the forming technologies of alloy and composite and, therefore, short processes of low cost are favored. Semisolid processing and squeeze casting have exhibited some obvious advantages, such as enabling near net shape and being a short process of low cost compared to the conventional casting and forging technologies. Given the urgent need for energy conservation and emission reduction in industrial manufacture, the applications of semisolid processing and squeeze casting are able to extend into the automotive, motorcycle, aerospace, weapons, and 3C fields.

Semisolid processing and squeeze casting depend on the optimization of microstructure and properties, numerical simulation of processes, and the development of new materials. This Special Issue aims to cover recent progress and new developments in the relationships between the microstructures and mechanical properties of products formed by SSP or SC. All aspects related to SSP or SC, semisolid slurry fabrication, rheoforming and thixoforming, physical and numerical simulation of SSP and SC, process optimization of squeeze casting, and heat treatment of products formed by SSP and SC are of interest. Submissions of full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Prof. Dr. Jufu Jiang
Prof. Dr. Gang Chen
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • semisolid processing
  • squeeze casting
  • microstructure evolution
  • properties optimization
  • rheoforming
  • thixoforming
  • fabrication of semisolid slurry
  • numerical simulation
  • heat treatment

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 7137 KiB  
Article
Study on the Semi-Solid Thixotropic Forging Forming Process for the Low-Carbon Steel Claw Pole
by Shuangjiang Li, Yongfei Wang, Zeyuan Li, Xiaoming Liu and Shengdun Zhao
Materials 2023, 16(13), 4790; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16134790 - 03 Jul 2023
Viewed by 861
Abstract
Low-carbon steel has been popularly applied in numerous applications because of its unique features, such as good plasticity, high strength, great hardness, and excellent toughness. Additionally, the semi-solid thixotropic forging forming method has been widely used in light alloys, due to its advantages [...] Read more.
Low-carbon steel has been popularly applied in numerous applications because of its unique features, such as good plasticity, high strength, great hardness, and excellent toughness. Additionally, the semi-solid thixotropic forging forming method has been widely used in light alloys, due to its advantages of low forming force and high forming quality, whereas its application in ferrous materials is still limited. In this study, the semi-solid thixotropic forging forming process is proposed for producing the low-carbon steel claw pole, with the main stages being radial forging deformation, isothermal treatment, and forging forming. The effect of the area reduction rate on the effective strain from the cross sections of the radial-forged metal bar was studied using numerical simulations. The effect of the isothermal holding process on the microstructures of radial-forged billets was investigated, to obtain the ideal semi-solid microstructures. The microstructure and mechanical properties of low-carbon steel claw poles from the thixotropic forging experiment are presented and discussed. It was found that when the area reduction rate was 67%, the effective strain at the edge of the metal bar exceeded 5.0, while the effective strain at the center was above 1.2, indicating an excellent quality of forging for the bar. The optimization of the process parameters for preparing low-carbon steel semi-solid billets with fine and globular microstructures was achieved with an area reduction rate of 67%, an isothermal temperature of 1500 °C, and a duration time of 15 min. Moreover, the low-carbon steel claw pole fabricated with the optimized operating parameters was found fully filled, with a sharp profile and a flat surface, where the yield strength and tensile strength increased by 88.5% and 79.8%, respectively, compared to the starting materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semisolid Processing and Squeeze Casting of Alloys and Composites)
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12 pages, 8112 KiB  
Article
Effect of TiB2 Nanoparticle Content on the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of TiB2/Mg-4Al-1.5Si Composites
by Jian Liu, Xiaogang Chen, Wuxiao Wang, Yu Zhao and Na He
Materials 2023, 16(7), 2852; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16072852 - 03 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1105
Abstract
Coarse primary and eutectic Mg2Si phases were generally precipitated in Mg-Al-Si alloys during solidification at a low cooling rate, which tends to deteriorate the strength and ductility of magnesium alloys due to stress concentration. Different volume fractions of TiB2 nanoparticles [...] Read more.
Coarse primary and eutectic Mg2Si phases were generally precipitated in Mg-Al-Si alloys during solidification at a low cooling rate, which tends to deteriorate the strength and ductility of magnesium alloys due to stress concentration. Different volume fractions of TiB2 nanoparticles (1%, 3%, and 5%) were added to an Mg-4Al-1.5Si alloy to refine the coarse Mg2Si phases based on a heterogeneous nucleation mechanism. The nanoparticles were incorporated and dispersed in the molten Mg alloys and by using semi-solid stirring followed by ultrasonic treatment (SSUT), and TiB2/Mg-4Al-1.5Si composites were obtained. The effect of TiB2 content on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the composites was studied. The results showed that the average size of primary Mg2Si phases and α-Mg grains decreased as the TiB2 content raised, the dendritic primary Mg2Si phases were refined into polygonal shapes with smaller sizes, and the refined primary Mg2Si phases were uniformly distributed in the alloys after adding 1 vol.% or 3 vol.% TiB2 nanoparticles. As the TiB2 content increased, the morphology of the eutectic Mg2Si phases was modified from coarse Chinese characters to short rod or fine dot shapes. Vickers hardness and yield strength of the composites reached a maximum (153 HV and 90.9 MPa, respectively) when TiB2 content was 5 vol.%, while the most superior ultimate tensile strength (142.4 MPa) and elongation (9.2%) were obtained when TiB2 content was 3 vol.%, which were improved by 173.2%, 31.5%, 69.8%, and 187.5%, respectively compared with the Mg-4Al-1.5Si alloys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semisolid Processing and Squeeze Casting of Alloys and Composites)
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16 pages, 9641 KiB  
Article
Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Cast Al-Si-Cu-Mg-Ni-Cr Alloys: Effects of Time and Temperature on Two-Stage Solution Treatment and Ageing
by Lairong Xiao, Huali Yu, Yiwei Qin, Guanqun Liu, Zhenwu Peng, Xiaoxuan Tu, Heng Su, Yuxiang Xiao, Qi Zhong, Sen Wang, Zhenyang Cai and Xiaojun Zhao
Materials 2023, 16(7), 2675; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16072675 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Ameliorating the high-temperature performance of cast Al-Si alloys used as engine components is essential. The effects of different T6 heat-treatment processes on the microstructure and mechanical properties of cast Al-Si-Cu-Mg-Ni-Cr alloys were investigated in the present study. The results demonstrate that, under the [...] Read more.
Ameliorating the high-temperature performance of cast Al-Si alloys used as engine components is essential. The effects of different T6 heat-treatment processes on the microstructure and mechanical properties of cast Al-Si-Cu-Mg-Ni-Cr alloys were investigated in the present study. The results demonstrate that, under the optimal solution treatment conditions of 500 °C for 2 h and 540 °C for 4 h, the T-Al9FeNi phase was present in the alloy, and the roundness of primary Si and the aspect ratio of eutectic Si in the alloy reached valley values of 1.46 and 2.56, respectively. With increasing ageing time at 180 °C, the tensile strength significantly improved, while the microhardness first increased and then decreased. When the ageing time was 4 h, microhardness reached a peak value of 155.82 HV. The fracture characteristics changed from quasi-cleavage to the coexistence of quasi-cleavage and dimples. After heat treatment, the high-temperature tensile properties of the alloy improved, which is a significant advantage compared to the as-cast alloy. The stable Al3Ni and Al9FeNi phases inhibited the cracking of the alloy at 350 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semisolid Processing and Squeeze Casting of Alloys and Composites)
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13 pages, 5451 KiB  
Article
Influence of TiO2, Al2O3, and Basicity on Viscosity and Structure of High Titanium-Bearing Blast Furnace Slag
by Wenbo Zhou, Tingle Li, Dong Lan, Changyu Sun and Songtao Yang
Materials 2023, 16(7), 2575; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16072575 - 24 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1043
Abstract
The viscosity of high-titanium blast furnace slag with different TiO2 content, Al2O3 content, and basicity was measured at 1653–1773 K using the rotational cylinder method. The phase composition of the slag is measured by XRD. Phase diagram of the [...] Read more.
The viscosity of high-titanium blast furnace slag with different TiO2 content, Al2O3 content, and basicity was measured at 1653–1773 K using the rotational cylinder method. The phase composition of the slag is measured by XRD. Phase diagram of the slags is calculated by FactSage software. Ionic network structure of the slags is analyzed by FT–IR. Results show that TiO2 depolymerizes the silicate network structure, reducing viscosity at high temperature, while increasing Al2O3 content generates a more complicated silicate, increasing viscosity. Basicity affects viscosity, with higher basicity resulting in lower viscosity above 1733 K. Perovskite significantly affects the viscosity of slag. This study provides an in-depth understanding of the relationship between the composition and viscosity of high-titanium blast furnace slag, which is very important for improving production efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semisolid Processing and Squeeze Casting of Alloys and Composites)
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13 pages, 8067 KiB  
Article
Effect of Solution Temperature on Microstructure and Properties of Thixotropic Back-Extruded Tin–Bronze Shaft Sleeve
by Yuhang Zhou, Yunxin Cui, Qingbiao Zhang, Zhiqiang Yang, Yongkun Li and Han Xiao
Materials 2022, 15(15), 5254; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15155254 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1161
Abstract
To study the heat-treatment process of a semi-solid copper alloy, a thixotropic back-extruded tin–bronze shaft sleeve was heat-treated at 630 °C, 660 °C, 690 °C and 720 °C for 1 h, respectively. Microstructure changes and mechanical properties under different solution temperatures of shaft [...] Read more.
To study the heat-treatment process of a semi-solid copper alloy, a thixotropic back-extruded tin–bronze shaft sleeve was heat-treated at 630 °C, 660 °C, 690 °C and 720 °C for 1 h, respectively. Microstructure changes and mechanical properties under different solution temperatures of shaft sleeve were characterized using a metallographic microscope (OM), scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), hardness tester, and tensile tester. The results show that the tensile strength first increases and then decreases; the elongation decreases; and the Brinell hardness increases gradually with increasing solution temperature. When the solution treatment is at 690 °C, the tin–bronze shaft sleeve’s microstructure and comprehensive mechanical properties are the best. The shape factor is 0.75, the average grain size is 82.52 μm, the Brinell hardness is 122 HBW, the tensile strength is 437 MPa, and the elongation is 17.4%, which is 3.4 times higher than that before solution treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semisolid Processing and Squeeze Casting of Alloys and Composites)
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13 pages, 4262 KiB  
Article
The Precipitation Behavior of a Cu-Ni-Si Alloy with Cr Addition Prepared by Heating-Cooling Combined Mold (HCCM) Continuous Casting
by Xianghao Meng, Guoliang Xie, Wenli Xue, Yilei Fu, Rui Wang and Xinhua Liu
Materials 2022, 15(13), 4521; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15134521 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1465
Abstract
A Cu-Ni-Si alloy containing (Ni + Si) ≥ 5 wt.%, with the addition of Cr, is fabricated by HCCM continuous casting and two steps of aging treatment. The evolution of the microstructures and precipitations, as well as the effect of Cr atoms, is [...] Read more.
A Cu-Ni-Si alloy containing (Ni + Si) ≥ 5 wt.%, with the addition of Cr, is fabricated by HCCM continuous casting and two steps of aging treatment. The evolution of the microstructures and precipitations, as well as the effect of Cr atoms, is studied in this paper. An excellent combination of mechanical property (hardness HV 250–270) and electrical conductivity (46–47 %IACS) is obtained by the first step aging at 500 °C for 0.25 h and the second step aging at 450 °C for 1 h. The cold rolling and aging process are directly conducted on the solution treated specimens fabricated by HCCM continuous casting process without hot deformation, since the excellent homogeneity of matrix is obtained by solution treatment with δ-Ni2Si precipitates dissolved. It is found that the formation of discontinuous precipitation is suppressed by the formation of Cr3Si cores of 5–10 nm before the formation δ-Ni2Si. Then, the nucleation and growth of δ-Ni2Si precipitates occurs around the boundaries of these Cr3Si cores, leading to an enhanced nucleation rate. This study provides a promising direction for the design and optimization of Cu-Ni-Si alloys based on the further understanding of the effect of the addition of Cr. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semisolid Processing and Squeeze Casting of Alloys and Composites)
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25 pages, 14452 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation and Experimental Validation of Squeeze Casting of AlSi9Mg Aluminum Alloy Component with a Large Size
by Jufu Jiang, Jing Yan, Yingze Liu, Guoquan Hu, Ying Wang, Changjie Ding and Dechao Zou
Materials 2022, 15(12), 4334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15124334 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1492
Abstract
The squeeze casting process for an AlSi9Mg aluminum alloy flywheel housing component was numerically simulated using the ProCAST software, and orthogonal simulation tests were designed according to the L16 (4) 5 orthogonal test table to investigate the alloy melt flow rule under four [...] Read more.
The squeeze casting process for an AlSi9Mg aluminum alloy flywheel housing component was numerically simulated using the ProCAST software, and orthogonal simulation tests were designed according to the L16 (4) 5 orthogonal test table to investigate the alloy melt flow rule under four factors and four levels each of the pouring temperature, mold temperature, pressure holding time and specific pressure, as well as the distributions of the temperature fields, stress fields and defects. The results showed that the flywheel housing castings in all 16 test groups were fully filled, and the thinner regions solidified more quickly than the thicker regions. Hot spots were predicted at the mounting ports and the convex platform, which could be relieved by adding a local loading device. Due to the different constraints on the cylinder surface and the lower end surface, the solidification was inconsistent, the equivalent stress at the corner junction was larger, and the castings with longer pressure holding time and lower mold temperature had larger average equivalent stress. Shrinkage cavities were mainly predicted at mounting ports, the cylindrical convex platform, the peripheral overflow groove and the corner junctions, and there was also a small defect region at the edge of the upper end face in some test groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semisolid Processing and Squeeze Casting of Alloys and Composites)
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