Treatment of a Liquid Al-Si Alloy : Quality Control and Comparison of Two Melt Degassing Processes
Abstract: Products manufactured by aluminium casting have become very popular and already replaced many parts that were once produced by iron and steel casting. This trends upwards especially in the automotive industry as it has become extremely important to reduce vehicle weight due to environmental requirements and economical aspects. This popularity of aluminium alloys could be ascribed to their light weights and many other advantages including excellent castability, good corrosion resistance, good thermal and electrical conductivity, good machinability, low melting temperatures and minimal gas solubility with the exception of hydrogen. The most important alloy group among casting alloys is Aluminium Silicon (Al - Si). Al-Si alloys must undergo a specific melt treatment procedure prior to casting. This treatment consists of several steps including degassing of hydrogen, grain refinement and eutectic modification. The aim of this study is to make an assessment of the metal treatment process of an (Al-Si) casting alloy at Unnaryd Modell AB for the purpose of improving the melt conditions and thus the quality of the final product. A rotary degasser provided by Foseco is also tested instead of the traditional tablet degassing method to see if this technique would result in any significant improvement of the melt quality. The results show that Unnaryd modell AB follows a proper treatment routine. It shows moreover that the rotary degassing is superior to the tablet degassing in many aspects including the level of degassing achieved, time efficiency, environmental consideration and personnel security.
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