Optimization of Casting Parameters on an Improved AA6061 Aluminum Alloy for Semi-Solid Die Casting
A study was conducted to assess the performance and castability of a new AA6061 aluminum alloy variant specially designed for semi-solid pressure die casting. The AA6061 alloy has very desirable mechanical properties for the fabrication of automotive parts. However, it has limited castability due to its low silicon content. It is not well suited for shape casting processes which are, for their part, very interesting in terms of production costs for complex-shaped automotive components. In an effort to meet automotive industry requirements, new AA6061 alloy variants have been developed by Rio Tinto Alcan researchers over the past years, aiming to improve the castability of the alloy while maintaining its desirable mechanical properties, by increasing its die-filling capacity, decreasing its hot tearing tendency. The study described herein is an example of how the performance of a single variant was assessed in terms of castability. The full study was conducted on six separate variants.