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The study was conducted to determine effect of micro particle ZnO addition
of Magnesium AZ91D on thixoforming process to hardness and microstructure.
The size of micro particle is 155 m. Variation off ZnO addition on
Magnesium AZ91D is 0,25 % ; 0,5 % ; and 0,75 % wt.%. Temperature of
thixoforming process is on 5300 C. Thixoforming process is using a blanking
machine as current injector as Magnesium alloy AZ91D reach the semi - solid
condition. The analysis was conducted based on the result of Atomic
Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) on chemical composition testing, Hardness
Brinnel testing, Micro-Hardness Vickers testing, Metallography testing with
optical microscope, and SEM-EDS examination.
The experimental resullt is showing that ZnO addition are increase the
hardness of As-Cast and Thixoforming sample of Magnesium AZ91D. The
percentage increase of hardness result in violence experienced, is increases with
ZnO micro particles which composition is added . The largest increase occurred
in the sample with the addition of 0.5 wt. % ZnO, which is equal to 30 % from
the as-cast hardness with 0 wt. %, the hardness is on 62.32 HB and 44.7 m of
grain size. Based on the hardness and grain size are obtained, that the effect of
adding ZnO particles on magnesium alloy AZ91D with Thixoforming process is
provide the grain refinement effect.
Magnesium alloys have a low density , as well as strength to weight ratio is
high. That properties are good for structural and automotive applications .
However , application in the field of engineering can not only rely just on
the material weight, other characteristics and spesification are required to
support its use on application, in this case a good mechanical properties is
required such as tensile strength, etc. Strengthening mechanism can be
done by the addition of alloying elements and the use thixoforming method
for the production process

Thixoforming process is closely related to basic principles of

Thixocasting, where the smelting process carried out up to the semisolid temperature ( 500-600oC ) for Magnesium AZ91D , and then the
semi-solid metal is inserted into the tube ( injection chamber ) to be
thrust into the mold cavity with a certain injection speed and pressure

The fundamental difference between the Thixoforming process with other

casting process is the condition of the material to be formed. In general, the
casting process is done with a molten metal and then poured into a mold and
allowed to freeze. Relatively, long freezing process is having an influence to
microstructure evolution. In which the microstructure is formed to produce
dendritic structure has a low mechanical properties . In Thixoforming process ,
which in a state of semi-solid material , it will not happen because of the growth
of dendrite structure cut by a pressing process when the semi-solid metal enters
the mold cavity quickly so that it will form dendrites pieces with smooth
rounded grain

The addition of elements or compounds into the magnesium alloy is

provides a significant role. The improvement that occurred is related to
the formation of fine grains of the element or compound that is added,
which will obstain the formation of dendritic structures during the cooling

Based on the latest research that obtained two similar research

on the use of ZnO as an grain refiner compound on magnesium
alloys . Lee (2008 ) in his research showing that ZnO grain
refiner may be promising in decreasing the grain size of
Magnesium AZ91E ( 2 % ZnO can decrease the grain size by 75
% ) . While Fu , et. al (2006 ) examines the effect of ZnO grain
refiner on pure and magnesium alloy with 3 % of Zn addition.
The research is showing that the ZnO addition can decrease the
average grain size of Mg - 3 % Zn alloy ( 1100m becomes
410m and 420m into 310m ) . The grain refinement is done
by Lee and Fu with conventional casting methods .
The size of sample that used for the Thixoforming process is :
length = 5 cm ;
= 2 cm. Based on the calculation of the composition 2 kg of
as- cast Mg - Al Zn is showing on the table below :