Economical Semi Solid Metal (SSM) Processing of Automotive Components 2002-01-0916
The technical benefits of the SSM (Thixo) casting process for aluminum and other metals are now reasonably well understood; the process is able to make castings having thin walls, details, complexity and dimensional controls akin to conventional die castings, while using appropriate alloys, enabling heat treatment and providing part integrity, properties and consistency suitable for structural applications. Less well understood, however, are the inherent economics of the process; that is, material thrifting, energy conservation during parts manufacturing, long tool life and minimized secondary machining through net shape casting. The high cost of MHD billet for the process has here-to-fore been viewed as more than offsetting the inherent economics and has thus served to severely deter the widespread use of SSM components. Significant cost reductions via slurry approaches and/or other alternatives to MHD billet are major current thrusts. This paper will address SSM economics and will introduce the most cost effective SSM approach for high integrity automotive cast components.
Developments in Lightweight Aluminum Alloys for Automotive Applications: 2001-2005-PT-130, Designing and Achieving Lightweight Vehicles-SP-1684, SAE 2002 Transactions Journal of Materials & Manufacturing-V111-5