Novel grain refinement of AZ91E magnesium alloy and the effect on hot tearing during solidfication
- Novel grain refinement of AZ91E magnesium alloy and the effect on hot tearing during solidfication
For the A1-5Ti-1B grain refiner, the addition of 0.1 wt.% provided a 68 % reduction in grain size as compared to the unrefined AZ91E alloy at a holding time of five minutes. Grain growth restriction by TiB₂ particles was the source of grain refinement. With the addition of A1-5Ti-1B, only a small reduction in hot tearing susceptibility ws observed because large TiA1₃ particles bonded poorly with the eutectic and blocked feeding channels.The addition of 1.0 wt.% A1-1Ti-3B provided a grain size reduction of 63% as compared to the unrefined AZ91E alloy at a holding time of five minutes. The grain refinement with A1-1Ti-3B addition was attributed to a combination of TiB₂ grain growth restriction and A1B₂ nucleating sites. A significant reduction in hot tearing susceptibility was observed with A1-1Ti-3B addition as a result of a higher cooling rate and shorter local soldification time as compared to the AZ91E alloy. The reduction in hot tearing susceptibility was attributed to the good interface between eutectic and TiB₂ particles. Both grain refiners demonstrated a good resistance to fading during the holding times investigated. In addition, the AZ91E + A1-5Ti-1B and AZ91E + A1-1Ti-3B castings showed much fewer dislocation networks as compared to the untreated AZ91E casting.The development of efficient A1-Ti-B refiners can also improve castability of magnesium alloys. In addition, the fade resistant A1-Ti-B grain refiners can reduce operating costs and maintain productivity on the foundry floor. Thus, magnesium alloy with A1-Ti-B treatment have the potential for more demanding structural applications in the automobile and aerospace industries.Vehicle weight in the aerospace and automotive industries directly impacts carbon emissions and fuel efficiency. An increase in the use of lightweight materials for structural applications will result in lighter vehicles. Low density materials, such as magnesium (1.74 g/cm³) are a potential alternative to aluminium (2.70 g/cm³), to reduce component weight in structural applications.However, current magnesium alloys still do not have adequate mechanical properties and castability to meet the performance specifications of the automotive and aerospace industries. Grain refinement can significantly improve mechanical properties and reduce hot tearing during permanent mould casting. Recently, Al-Ti-B based grain refiners have shown potential in grain refining magnesium-aluminum alloys such as AZ91E. This study investigates the grain refining efficiency and fading of A1-5Ti-1B and A1-1Ti-3B in AZ91E magnesium alloy and their subsequent effect on hot tearing.The grain refiners were added at 0.1, 0.2, 0.5 and 1.0 wt.% levels. For the grain refinement and fading experiments, the castings were prepared using graphite moulds with holding times of 5, 10 and 20 minutes. For the hot tearing experiments, castings were produced representing the optimal addition level of each grain refiner. The castings were prepared using a permanent mould with pouring and mould temperatures of 720 and 180 ºC, respectively. The castings were characterized using SEM, TEM, optical microscopy and thermal analysis.