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Deepak Satapathy


Kunal Kumar Majhi


Ratikanta Pradhan


Satyabrata Mishra


Manik Mahali


Rapid solidification processing ,known from its name ,implies that
the metals are rapidly solidified using various techniques. Among
these melt spinning,atomization,laser melting and laser remelting
by electron beam etc..
From the different rapid solidification process, the meltspinning
process is useful owing to its following properties. Meltspinning
creats high cooling rate and has optimization cost:performance
ratio. For very fast solidification, it is necessary to form a small
dimensioned shape.
In the meltspinning process a continuous ribbon is created in
vaccum for most engineering applications. The melt is cast on a
rotating Cu wheel and instant solidification takes place as soon as
the melt hits the wheel.
The ribbon is several millimetres wide and around 80 micron thick.
In this way not only a very high, but also a very optimized
cooling rate is obtained.
Cooling rate (product quality) is a controllable parameter that can
be easily varied by the wheel speed. From the ribbon on two more
steps are needed to obtain a billet.
The ribbon is chopped directly after meltspinning and then
compacted at elevated temperature into a billet.
The density of the billets reaches a level of 99% of the theoretical
density. The RSA billet can then follow the conventional extrusion
route: saw to preferred length, preheat in a billet furnace and
extrude into a profile.

In gas atomisation and spray forming a powder or droplet is

formed in a gas protected environment gas atomisation and spray
forming are batch processes.
In order to prepare spherical composite magnetic abrasive, the
apparatus used for the gas atomization and rapid solidification
process is modified and the matrix composition of the magnetic
abrasive is optimized according to the theory of atomization and
rapid solidification .
The effect of laser surface melting (LSM) on metal alloys has
attracted considerable attention in recent years because surfacerelated properties of the laser-treated layer can be enhanced

It has been found that the improved corrosion resistance of

different alloys are enhanced and microstructure refinement in the
laser-melted zone due to surface melting and rapid solidification
during the laser process.

In the past study, most of researchers focused on the improved

wear and corrosion resistances of alloys after laser treatment, but
no good understanding has been obtained on the microstructural
evolution induced by laser irradiation.
Therefore, an understanding of the as-received microstructure and
its response to laser treatment is required for magnesium alloys in
order to study the rapid solidification microstructure under nonequilibrium condition.
Recently, laser and electron beam surface remelting, as a newly
developed rapid solidification technique, has been extensively used
in surface modification of materials and studies on rapid
solidification theories due to its unique advantages.

However, most current research works are focused on laser surface

rapid solidification whereas the studies on electron beam surface
rapid solidification are very rare so far. Based upon this, different
alloys were irradiated by electron beam.

Experimental processes
As part of a continuous process line RSP Technology is
including an alternative compaction and extrusion technique
also known as the Conform process.
Continuous rotary extrusion was a process initially developed
as Conform by the UK Atomic Energy Authority for
processing copper-based materials. The Conform principle is a
continuous process where usually solid bars (from a coil) are
fed into a wheel with a groove.
The wheel transports the rod until it is blocked by a die. The
pressure provided by the rotation of the wheel generates
friction and heat. When temperature and pressure are right,
the metal moves through the die.
To process powders into full density bars encounters big
difficulties, one of the major problems being the tenacious
nature of aluminium oxide on the surface of aluminium-based
powders which inhibits consolidation to high density. The
flakes contain significantly less oxide layers compared to
powders which eases a full consolidation.
At this moment, RSP Technology is capable of processing
flakes into rod sections with diameters up to 90 mm in alloys
varying from AlSi20X to AlCu5FeX.

(melt spinnig)

A particular type of WA micropodwer, W7, was selected for the

abrasive grains of the magnetic abrasive.
N2 gas was used as the atomizing gas in order to prevent oxidation
of the molten ferromagnetic matrix alloy during the atomizing
The preparation process of the spherical composite magnetic
abrasive was as follows: the raw materials of the ferromagnetic
alloy matrix were melted in a medium-frequency induction furnace
and heated to an appropriate temperature (1580 C).
The atomizing pressure was adjusted up to an appropriate value
(2.2 MPa). The molten matrix alloy was then poured into a heating
leak crucible, and flowed to the atomizing focal point by gravity,
where it was atomized into tiny droplets by high-pressure mixedgas consisting of high-pressure N2 and WA micropowder (W7).
When the droplets were rapidly cooled down (cooling rate in the
atomizing chamber controlled in the atomizing chamber to 104
105 K s1) and solidified, a spherical composite magnetic abrasive
powder with bonded WA grains was obtained.

The material studied was an as-cast AZ91D Mg alloy with the
following chemical composition (wt.%): Al 8.97, Zn 0.78, Mn
0.31, Si 0.023, Cu 0.002, Ni 0.0005 and Mg balance.
The specimens were extracted from the ingot, ground with
progressively finer SiC paper (180, 400, 800, 1200, 2400 and 4000
grit), cleaned with alcohol.
Then irradiated with Lumonics JK704 Nd:YAG laser system (with
wavelength of 1084 nm) using the following parameters under
high purity Ar gas protection: power density 3.82 104 W/cm2,
scanning speed 10 mm/s, frequency 100 Hz, pulse duration 1.0 ms,
and spot overlap 50%. The laser was operated in a near TEM00
mode at a chosen power.

(Laser melting)
Electron beam surface remelting experiments were carried out on a
60 kW moderate voltage electron beam welding machine made in
The operation conditions for both stainless steel and aluminum
alloy were as follows: 60 kV for accelerating voltage, 18 mA for
beam current, 1.8 m/min for scanning speed of the electron beam.
To comprehensively understand the morphologies of the
resolidification microstructure, longitudinal section of the electron
beam traces were cut as specimens for metallographic examination
by optical microscopy (OM).
All the specimens were ground and polished. Etching for stainless
steel was performed using a solution containing 33 ml HNO3 and
67 ml HCl while etching for aluminum alloy was performed using
a solution containing 0.5 ml HF and 95.5 ml distilled water.

( Surface remelting by electron beam)


(Atomisation ) SEM micrographs of WA micropowder and spherical composite magnetic

abrasive: (a) WA micropowder; (b) low-magnification SEM micrograph; (c) high-magnification
SEM micrograph

Figure a shows the raw morphology of WA micropowder (W7)

used in this experiment; Figure b and c shows, at low and high
magnification, respectively, SEM micrographs of the WA spherical
composite magnetic abrasive prepared by the gas atomization and
rapid solidification process.
It can be clearly seen that the magnetic abrasive prepared has good
sphericity shape and the WA grains are distributed uniformly and
densely on the surface of the magnetic abrasive (Fig. b and c).
No agglomeration of WA micropowder grains is found. Figure c
also indicates that there is degree of wettability of the WA abrasive
grains by the liquid ferromagnetic FeSiAlNiCr alloy matrix
The WA grains are well embedded into the ferromagnetic FeSi
AlNiCr alloy matrix, where they form strong bonds. Compared
with the morphology shown in Figure a, the WA abrasive grain
phase in Figure c maintains its original shape during this process.

Fig. a Distribution of Al and Mg in the laser-melted zone and substrate of AZ91D alloy.

The distribution of main elementary compositions based on EDS

analysis is shown in Fig. a. It can be seen that average Al content
increased in the melted zone, which is likely due to relatively more
Mg evaporation during the laser process and the fine Mg17Al12 precipitation during the laser-induced solidification.

Quantitative analyses of the micrographs confirmed that the Al

content in the -Mg matrix (79.282.4 wt.% Mg) was in the range
of 10.712.1 wt.% and was enriched at the dendrite/cellular
boundaries (61.365.8 wt.% Mg) in the range of 30.833.3 wt.%,
which were higher than the value of 9.0 wt.% in the untreated
substrate (89.9 wt.% Mg).

Fig. Measurement of dendrite cell size of three different regions in the melted zone from high
magnification SEM images. (a) Top surface layer; (b) middle region in the melted zone; (c) the boundary
between the melted zone and the substrate.

It is experimentally seen that as the cooling rate decreases

with the melted depth from 106 K/s in the top surface to
104 K/s in the boundary of the laser-melted zone, the dendrite
cell size increases from 0.7 0.1 m to 2.1 0.1 m.
This agrees with the solidification theory that relates dendrite
cell size and the cooling rate described by the
function = Bn, where is average dendrite cell size in
m, is the cooling rate in K/s, B is a proportionality constant
and n is an exponent ranging from 0.3 to 0.4.
This relationship cannot be explained physically, but it can be
useful in practice.

Fig. Optical micrographs showing the microstructure of base AISI 321 stainless steel (a); and electron
beam melted pool bottom (b); center (c); and surface (d).

Fig. shows the microstructures of base AISI 321 stainless steel

(Fig a) and a single remelting track in longitudinal section (Fig bd). The structure of base stainless steel is typically hot rolling
austensite, i.e. the corase austenitic grains were elongated along the
rolling direction.
From the boundary between the melted layer and the substrate to
the surface, it can be seen that the microstructure morphologic
transition of the planar crystal growth of a few micrometers at the
maximum depth (Fig b),cellular/dendritic structures at the center
of the melted layer (Fig. c)random dendrites near the surface
(Fig. d).

Fig. TEM micrographs of Ni 50 Mn 20 Co 8 Ga 25 alloy melt-spun at high wheel speed. (a) Bright field image
showing martensite phase with twins (b) and (c) Bright field images of martensite phase at higher magnification (d)
Corresponding SAED pattern

TEM bright field images of 8%-Co substituted sample are shown

in Fig. in different magnifications. Martensite phase with twins
and twin variants can be seen clearly.
It is also indicated in Fig. b with arrow marks. The SAED pattern
was taken along the [044] zone axis and corresponding reflections
have been indexed to martensite phase with non-modulated
tetragonal structure.


Fig. Effect of Co concentration and corresponding e/a ratio on (a) Saturation magnetization (b) Martensite
transformation temperature and (c) Curie temperature of samples of Ni 2 (Mn,Co)Ga processed in different
conditions. (melt spinning)

Magnetic properties such as saturation magnetization

(Ms), martensitic transformation temperature (Tm) and Curie
temperature (Tc) are measured by utilizing different magnetic
characterization tools such as vibrating sample magnetometer and
susceptibility meter.
Saturation magnetization as a function of cobalt content (or e/a
ratio) is plotted in Fig. a and also . One can note that saturation
magnetization of as-spun samples decreases monotonously as the
cobalt content is increased.
On the other hand, after annealing treatment the magnetization
values are decreasing compared to as-spun samples. However, the
observed values are good agreement with existing literature as
suggestedin Fig. b.

(gas atomisation)

The hardness and compressive strength of the hot-pressed powders

and ribbons are reported in Table . One can notice the higher
hardness of the compacts produced by the rapid solidification
processes compared with the conventionally cast alloys.
Higher hardness was obtained when melt spinning was performed.
The positive influence of the transition metals on the hardness was
also noticeable.
Similar results were obtained from the compression test, i.e. rapid
solidification and alloying with the transition metals improved the
strength, particularly at the elevated temperatures. Nickel was
found to be the most effective element in increasing the strength.

Fig. Tensile properties of SLM fabricated AlSi10Mg alloy, compared to die cast A360 alloy

Fig. shows the tensile test results of horizontal and vertical samples
together with data from die cast samples . All samples were built
using the parameters set E .
There is no major influence for the build orientation on the tensile
properties, although the horizontal samples show 10% high strength.

Fig. 9 Creep curves of SLM fabricated AlSi10Mg alloy (horizontal samples) at the following conditions: (a) 180 C/200
MPa, (b) 150 C/200 MPa, and (c) 180 C/150 MPa

Fig. shows the timestrain curves of horizontal samples, for test conditions:
(a) 180 C/200 MPa, (b) 150 C/200 MPa, and (c) 180 C/150 MPa. All the
straintime relations show normal creep behaviour, such as primary,
secondary and tertiary creep.
For test condition (a), the sample ruptured at 18.7 h. Using creep rupture
data for Larson miller plot for the same alloy, the predicted rupture time
was 14.8 h.

Meltspinning offers a cost-effective solution compared to competing
P/M processes and at the same time generates improved properties.
Meltspinning is, therefore, claimed to be the most promising
technology for generating the next generation metals.
Especially for automotive applications such as pistons, conrods and
hydraulic components the meltspun RSA alloys have a large potential.
RSA-4XX (AlSi20X), RSA-90X (AlCuFeX) and RSA-70X (AlZn)
alloy systems are already used in several niche markets such as racing
and sporting goods and have proved their superiority over
conventional metals. Pre-series testing for two automotive engines is
currently taking place.
Recent research on Conform promises further cost reductions so that
the use in mass applications can be further increased. Additional
research is needed to optimise quality and production efficiency.

Direct compaction of flakes into near net shape components is the

most recent research, still in experimental phase.
The electron beam surface rapid solidification of both AISI 321
stainless steel and 2024 aluminum alloy induces significant changes in
the microstructure morphologies of the modified zones compared to
the starting materials.
There are different solidification parameters at different positions in
the melted layer, hence the morphologies selection of the modified
zones at different positions exhibiting very different. The
microstructures after electron beam irradiation have been much

The microstructure of the melt-spun ribbons exhibited a featureless

zone caused by diffusionless solidification and a dendritic zone in the
free-side due to the lower undercooling.

The microstructure of the hot-pressed pulverized ribbons included

ultrafine particles (150200 nm) and nanometric intermetallic
The addition of transition metals significantly improved the hardness
and compressive strength of the alloy. An improved mechanical
strength was obtained when the higher cooling rate was employed.
The build direction does not strongly influence the tensile or creep
strength of alloys. Both building directions show higher strength than
the parent alloy, although the elongation is inferior to that of parent
Fracture surfaces show the presence of significant amounts of unmelted powder, which give rise to local cracking. Further work is
required to see if it is possible to eliminate these regions.

L. Katgerman, in: S. Steeb, H. Warlimont (Eds.), Rapidly
Quenched Metals V, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1985, pp. 819822.
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Continuous Casting of Non-Ferrous Metals and Alloys, TMS,
Warrendale, 1989, pp. 6786.
E.J. Lavernia, J.D. Ayers, T. Srivatsan
Rapid solidification processing with specific application to
aluminum alloys Int Mater Rev, 37 (1992), pp. 144
C. Casavola, S.L. Campanelli, C. Pappalettere
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