Microstructural features evaluation of age-hardened A 226 cast alloy by image analysis


Age-hardening provides one of the most widely used mechanisms for the strengthening of aluminum alloys. The age-hardening involves three steps: solution treatment, quenching and aging. The temperature of solution treatment and aging is very important in order to reach desired properties of castings. The optimum temperature of solution treatment and aging led to formation microstructural features in form which does not lead to decreasing properties, but increasing ones. The major micro-structural features in A 226 cast alloys which are responsible for increasing properties are: eutectic Si particles, Cu-rich phases, Fe-rich phases and porosity. The increase of properties depends on morphology, size and volume of microstructural features. In order to assess age-hardening influence on microstructural features in A226 cast alloys were used as possibilities of evaluation by means of image analysis. Quantitative analysis decelerate changes in microstructure includes the spheroidization and coarsening of eutectic silicon, gradual disintegration, shortening and thinning of Fe-rich intermetallic phases, the dissolution of precipitates and the precipitation of finer hardening phase (Al2Cu) further increase in the hardness and tensile strength in the alloy. Changes of mechanical properties were measured in line with STN EN ISO.

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