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Microstructural characterization and high cycle fatigue behavior of investment cast A357 aluminum alloy

Abstract : In order to observe the influence of strontium (Sr) modification and hot isostatic pressing (HIP) on an aluminum–silicon cast alloy A357 (AlSi7Mg0.6), the microstructure and the high cycle fatigue behavior of three batches of materials produced by investment casting (IC) were studied. The parts were produced by an advanced IC proprietary process. The main process innovation is to increase the solidification and cooling rate by immersing the mold in cool liquid. Its advantage is to produce finer microstructures. Microstructural characterization showed a dendrite arm spacing (DAS) refinement of 40% when compared with the same part produced by conventional investment casting. Fatigue tests were conducted on hourglass specimens heat treated to T6, under a stress ratio of R = 0.1 and a frequency of 25 Hz. One batch of material was unmodified but two batches were modified with 0.007% and 0.013% Sr addition, from which one batch was submitted to HIP after casting. Results reported in S–N diagrams show that the addition of Sr and the HIP process improve the 106 cycles fatigue strength by 9% and 34% respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation of the fracture surfaces showed a variety of crack initiation mechanisms. In the unmodified alloy, decohesion between the coarse Si particles and the aluminum matrix was mostly observed. On the other hand, in the modified but non HIP-ed alloy, cracks initiated from pores. When the same alloy was subjected to HIP, a competition between crystallographic crack initiations (at persistent slip bands) and decohesion/failure of intermetallic phases was observed. When compared to fatigue strength reported for components produced by permanent mold casting, the studied material are more resistant to fatigue even in the unmodified and non HIP-ed states.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 5, 2015 - 4:51:11 PM
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Sébastien Dezecot, Myriam Brochu. Microstructural characterization and high cycle fatigue behavior of investment cast A357 aluminum alloy. International Journal of Fatigue, Elsevier, 2015, 77, pp.154-159. ⟨10.1016/j.ijfatigue.2015.03.004⟩. ⟨hal-01160555⟩



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