Fatigue and Fracture Toughness of Water-Chilled A356-T6 Cast Aluminum Alloy 881706
A continuation of the SAEFDE round-robin fatigue test program was conducted to determine the influence of a finer microstructure on monotonic tension, strain-controlled low cycle fatigue, fatigue crack growth, and fracture toughness of A356-T6 cast aluminum alloy. The finer microstructure castings, referred to as material W, were obtained using a water-chilled sand casting procedure. Material W exhibited more desirable ductile behavior than the previous SAEFDE materials X, Y, and Z. Material W exhibited superior smooth specimen low cycle fatigue resistance at both short and long lives, when compared to materials X, Y, and Z. This was due in part to the higher ductility and lower porosity of material W over materials X, Y, and Z. Material W exhibited similar fatigue crack growth behavior, and slightly higher values of fracture toughness at the same thickness when compared to materials X, Y, and Z. Both macro and micro fractography indicated that material W exhibited a definite lack of porosity and shrinkage, less macro/micro coarseness, and more pronounced ductile modes when compared to materials X, Y, and Z.