The Use of Semi-Solid Rheocasting (SSR) for Aluminum Automotive Castings
Semi-solid metal (SSM) casting has long been identified as a high-volume process for producing safety-critical and structural automotive castings, but cost and complexity issues have limited its widespread commercial acceptance. Rheocasting, an SSM process that creates semi-solid slurry directly from liquid metal, eliminates the cost disadvantages of the process. However, the majority of rheocasting processes are complex and difficult to operate in the foundry environment. Recent work at MIT has led to the fundamental discovery that application of heat removal and convection as a molten alloy cools through the liquidus creates a non-dendritic, semi-solid slurry. A new process based on this understanding, S.S.R.™ (Semi-Solid Rheocasting), simplifies the rheocasting process by controlling heat removal and convection of an alloy during cooling using an external device. Solution heat treatable castings have been produced in a horizontal die casting machine with the S.S.R.™ process.