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Effect of homogenization on the microstructural development in a d.c. cast aa3104 aluminum alloy used for canbody stock Gandhi, Chetak

Abstract

As customer demands become more stringent for canbody stock, it becomes essential to understand the complex interaction between the processing conditions and resulting product properties. This research focused on investigating the influence of homogenization process parameters (heat-up rate, soak temperature and time) on the microstructural evolution of an AA3104 aluminum alloy used for canbody stock. Experiments were conducted on samples taken from an industrial D.C. cast ingot and homogenized in a programmable temperature controlled laboratory furnace under various thermal profiles (i.e. homogenization temperatures 550°C, 580°C and 610°C at various heating rates and homogenization soak times of up to ten hours). The samples were then characterized in terms of their microstructure (retained manganese in solid solution, percentage a-phase, and size distribution and density of dispersoids). The homogenization process parameters were found to affect the evolving microstructure profoundly with: • An increase in heat-up rate favoring a reduction in the number of evolving dispersoids. • An increase in soak temperature increasing the Mn in solid solution, and decreasing the number of dispersoids that form. • An increase in soak time up to 3 hrs increasing the volume percent of α- Al₁₂(Fe,Mn)₃Si. Based on this work, a homogenization profile for optimum microstructure and texture development would include a fast heat-up rate to a high soak temperature (610°C) with moderate soak times (up to 3 hrs).

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