Aluminium Casting Alloys

Aluminium Casting Alloys

Aluminium Casting Alloys

Aluminium Casting Alloys

Content

Introduction Recycled aluminium Technology and service for our customers • • • Quality Management Work safety and health protection Environmental protection

5 6

Melt quality and melt cleaning 24 • • • Avoiding impurities Melt testing and inspection procedure Thermal analysis 30 25 28

Surface treatment: corrosion 48 and corrosion protection Information on physical data, 50 strength properties and strength calculations

7 8 Selecting the casting process 31 • • Pressure die casting process Gravity die casting process Sand casting process 34 35 9 • 32

Notes on the casting alloy tables

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Aluminium and aluminium casting alloys • • •

Overview: Aluminium casting 52 alloys by alloy group

Aluminium – Material properties Recycling of aluminium Shaping by casting 10 11

Casting-compliant design Solidification simulation and thermography

Eutectic aluminium-silicon 37 casting alloys Near-eutectic wheel Avoiding casting defects 12 Heat treatment of aluminium castings 13 14 18 • • • • Metallurgy – fundamental principles Solution annealing Quenching Ageing 42 Al SiCu casting alloys Mechanical machining of aluminium castings 19 Welding and joining aluminium castings • 20 23 • • • • Suitability and behaviour Applications in the aluminium sector Welding processes Weld preparation Weld filler materials 47 45 44 AlMg casting alloys Casting alloys for special applications 41 The 7 and 5 per cent aluminium-silicon casting alloys 40 The 10 per cent aluminiumsilicon casting alloys 38 casting alloys

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Product range and form of delivery • Technical consultancy service Selecting aluminium casting alloys • • Criteria for the selection of aluminium casting alloys Influence of the most important alloying elements on aluminium casting alloys Influencing the microstructural formation of aluminium castings • • • Grain refinement Refinement of primary silicon

63

66

71

76 81 87

Modification of AlSi eutectic 21

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Aluminium Casting Alloys

Introduction

Many of you have most certainly worked with the “old“ Aluminium Casting Alloys Catalogue – over the years in thousands of workplaces in the aluminium industry, it has become a standard reference book, a reliable source of advice about all matters relating to the selection and processing of aluminium casting alloys. Even if you are holding this Aluminium Casting Alloys Catalogue in your hands for the first time, you will quickly find your way around with the help of the following notes and the catalogue‘s detailed index. How is this Aluminium Casting Alloys Catalogue structured? The catalogue consists of three separate parts. In the first part, we provide details on our company – a proven supplier of aluminium casting alloys.

In the second part, all technical aspects which have to be taken into account in the selection of an aluminium casting alloy are explained in detail. All details are based on the DIN EN 1676: 2010 standard. The third part begins with notes on the physical data, tensile strength characteristics and strength calculations of aluminium casting alloys. Subsequently, all standardised aluminium casting alloys in accordance with DIN EN 1676 as well as common, non-standardised casting alloys are depicted in a summary table together with their casting/technical and other typical similarities in “alloy families”. The aim of this new, revised and redesigned Aluminium Casting Alloys Catalogue is to give the user of aluminium

casting alloys a clear, well laid-out companion for practical application. Should you have any questions concerning the selection and use of aluminium casting alloys, please contact our foundry consultants or our sales staff. You can also refer to www.aleris.com. We would be pleased to advise you and wish you every success in your dealings with aluminium casting alloys!

Aluminium Casting Alloys

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Recycled aluminium Technology and service for our customers

Employing approx. 600 people, Aleris Recycling produces high-quality casting and wrought alloys from recycled aluminium. The company‘s headquarters are represented by the “Erftwerk” in Grevenbroich near Düsseldorf which is also the largest production facility in the group. Other production facilities in Germany (Deizisau, Töging), Norway (Eidsväg, Raudsand) and Great Britain (Swansea) are managed from here. With up to 550,000 mt, Aleris Recycling avails of the largest production capacities in Europe and is also one of the world‘s leading suppliers of technology and services relating to aluminium casting alloys. Aleris Recycling also offers a wide range of high-quality magnesium alloys. Aluminium recycled from scrap and dross has developed to become a highly-complex technical market of the future. This is attributable to the steady increase in demand for raw materials, the sustainability issue, increased environmental awareness among producers and consumers alike and, not least, the necessity to keep production costs as low as possible. This is where aluminium offers some essential advantages. Recycled aluminium can be generated at only a fraction of the energy costs (approx. 5%) compared to primary aluminium manufactured from bauxite with the result that it makes a significant contribution towards reducing CO emissions. This light-alloy metal can be recycled any number of times and good segregation even guarantees no quality losses.
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Its properties are not impaired when used in products. The metallic value is retained which represents a huge economic incentive to collect, treat and melt the metal in order to reuse it at the end of its useful life. For this reason, casting alloys from Aleris Recycling can be used for manufacturing new high-quality cast products such as crankcases, cylinder heads or aluminium wheels while wrought materials can be used for manufacturing rolled and pressed products, for example. Key industries supplied include: • • • • • • • • Rolling mills and extrusion plants Automotive industry Transport sector Packaging industry Engineering Building and construction Electronics industry as well as other companies in the Aleris Group. State-of-the-art production facilities and an extensive range of products made of aluminium in the form of scrap, chips or dross are collected and treated by Aleris Recycling before melting in tilting rotary furnaces with melting salt, for example, whereby the salt prevents the aluminium

from oxidising while binding contaminants (salt slag). Modern processing and melting plants at Aleris Recycling enable efficient yet environmentally-friendly recycling of aluminium scrap and dross. The technology used is largely based on our own developments and – in terms of yield and melt quality – works significantly more efficiently than fixed axis rotary furnaces and hearth furnaces. The melt gleaned from these furnaces has a very low gas content thanks to the special gas purging technique we use as well as being homogeneous and largely free of oxide inclusions and/or contaminants. The resulting high quality of Aleris alloys enables our customers to open up an increasing number of possible applications. All management processes and the entire process chain from procurement through production to sale are subject to systematic Quality Management. Combined with Quality Management certified to ISO/TS 16949 and DIN EN ISO 9001, this guarantees that our clients‘ maximum requirements and increasing demands can be fulfilled. The product range offered by Aleris Recycling comprises more than 250 different casting and wrought alloys. They can be supplied as ingots with unit weights of approx. 6 kg (in stacks of up to 1,300 kg) as well as pigs of up to 1,400 kg or as liquid metal. Based on our sophisticated crucible technology and optimised transport logistics, Aleris Recycling supplies customers with liquid aluminium in a just-in-time process and at the appropriate temperature.

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Aluminium Casting Alloys

Due to its future-oriented corporate structure, Aleris Recycling supplies the market with an increasing number of applications involving high-quality secondary aluminium. This service is not restricted to the area of casting alloys but also applies for 3000- and 5000-grade wrought alloys, for example. Aleris Recycling is also capable of offering some 6000-grade secondary aluminium alloys largely required by the automotive sector. For this so-called upgrade, Aleris applies special production technologies when it comes to manufacturing high-quality alloys from scrap. Recycled aluminium is increasingly becoming a complex range at the interface between high-tech production, trade and service. In addition, customers demand intensive consulting as well as individual service. Aleris Recycling enjoys an excellent position in this regard. At its various locations, the company units offer a high degree of recycling expertise, manufacturing competence and delivery reliability for its customers. With the result that Aleris Recycling guarantees its customers a high level of efficiency and added value while supporting their success on the market.

Quality Management We believe that our most important corporate goal is to meet in full our customers‘ requirements and expectations in terms of providing them with products and services of consistent quality. In order to meet this goal, our guidelines and integrated management system specifications outline rules and regulations that are binding for all staff. As a manufacturer of aluminium casting alloys, we are certified according to ISO/ TS 16949. In addition, we operate according to DIN EN ISO 9001 standards.

The principle of avoiding errors is paramount in all our individual procedures and regulations. In other words, our priority is to strive to achieve a zero-error target. By effectively combating the sources of errors, we create the right conditions for reliability and high quality standards. We have also established a comprehensive process of continuous improvement (PMO, Best Practice, Six Sigma etc.) in our plants in response to the demands being placed on our company by the increasing trend towards business globalisation. This creates the right climate for creative thinking and action. All members of staff, within their own area of responsibility, endeavour to ensure that operational procedures are constantly improved, even if in small, gradual stages, with a clear focus on our customers‘ needs.

Aluminium Casting Alloys

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Work safety and health protection Our staff are our most valuable asset. Work safety and health protection, therefore, have top priority for us, and also make a valuable contribution to the success of our company. Our “Work safety and health protection” programme is geared towards achieving a zero accident rate, and towards avoiding occupational illnesses. Depending on the respective location, we are certified to OHSAS 18001 or OHRIS. All management members and staff are obliged to comply with legal regulations and company rules at all times, to protect their own health and the health of other members of staff and, when engaged in any company operations, to do their utmost to ensure that accidents and work-related illnesses are avoided, as well as anything that might have a negative impact on the general company environment. Management provides the appropriate level of resources required to achieve these goals. There are regular internal and external training seminars on the topic of work safety, and detailed programmes to improve health protection. These help to maintain our comparatively low accident and illness rates.

Environmental protection Following the validation of our environmental management system in conformity with EMAS II and certification to DIN EN ISO 14001, we have undertaken not only to meet all the required environmental standards, but also to work towards a fundamental, systematic and continual improvement in the level of environmental protection within the company. Our management system and environmental policy are documented in the company manual which describes all the elements of the system in easily understood terms, while serving as a reference for all regulations concerning the environment.

The environmental impacts of our company operations in terms of air purity, protection of water bodies, noise and waste are checked at regular intervals. By modifying procedures, reusing materials and recycling residues, we optimise the use of raw materials and energy in order to conserve resources as efficiently as possible. We pursue a policy of open information and provide interested members of the public with comprehensive details of the company‘s activities in a particular location, and an explanation of the environmental issues involved. For us, open dialogue with the general public, our suppliers, customers and other contractual partners is as much a part of routine operations as reliable co-operation with the relevant authorities and trade associations. Likewise, ecological standards are incorporated in development and planning processes for new products and production processes, as are other standards required by the market or society at large. Our staff is fully conscious of all environmental protection issues and is keen to ensure that the environmental policy is reliably implemented in day-to-day operations within the company.

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Aluminium Casting Alloys

Aluminium and aluminium casting alloys

Aluminium – Material properties Aluminium has become the most widely used non-ferrous metal. It is used in the transport sector, construction, the packaging industry, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and design. New fields of application are constantly opening up as the advantages of this material speak for themselves:

Aluminium is light; its specific weight is substantially lower than other common metals and, at the same time, it is so strong that it can with stand high stress.

Recycling of aluminium Long before the term “recycling” became popular, recycling circuits already existed in the aluminium sector. Used parts made from aluminium or aluminium alloys as well as aluminium residue materials arising from production and fabrication are far too valuable to end up as landfill. One of the great advantages of this metal, and an added plus for its use as a construction material, is that aluminium parts, no matter the type, are extremely well suited to remelting. • The energy savings made in recycling aluminium are considerable. Remelting requires only about 5 % of the energy initially required to produce primary aluminium. • As a rule, aluminium recycling retains the value added to the metal. Aluminium can be recycled to the same quality level as the original metal. • Aluminium recycling safeguards and supplements the supply of raw materials while saving resources, protecting the environment and conserving energy. Recycling is therefore also a dictate of economic reason.

Aluminium is very corrosionresistant and durable. A thin, natural oxide layer protects aluminium against decomposition from oxygen, water or chemicals.

Aluminium is an excellent conductor of electricity, heat and cold.

• • • •

Aluminium is non-toxic, hygienic and physiologically harmless. Aluminium is non-magnetic. Aluminium is decorative and displays high reflectivity. Aluminium has outstanding formability and can be processed in a variety of ways.

Aluminium alloys are easy to cast as well as being suitable for all known casting processes.

Aluminium alloys are distinguished by an excellent degree of homogeneity.

• •

Aluminium and aluminium alloys are easy to machine. Castings made from aluminium alloys can be given an artificial, wear-resistant oxide layer using the ELOXAL process.

Aluminium is an outstanding recycling material.

Aluminium Casting Alloys

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The experience accumulated over many decades, the use of state-of-the-art technology in scrap preparation, remelting and exhaust gas cleaning as well as our constant efforts to develop new, environmentally-sound manufacturing technology puts us in a position to achieve the best possible and efficient recycling rates. At the same time, they also help us to make the most efficient use of energy and auxiliary materials.

Shaping by casting Casting represents the shortest route from raw materials to finished parts – a fact which has been known for five thousand years. Through continuous further development and, in part, by a selective return to classic methods such as the lost-form process, casting has remained at the forefront of technical progress. The most important advantage of the casting process is that the possibilities of shaping the part are practically limitless. Castings are, therefore, easier and cheaper to produce than machined and/ or joined components. The general waiving of subsequent machining not only results in a good density and path of force lines but also in high form strength. Furthermore, waste is also avoided. As a rule, the casting surface displays a tight, fine-grained structure and, consequently, is also resistant to wear and corrosion.

The variety of modern casting processes makes it possible to face up to the economic realities, i.e. the optimisation of investment expenditure and costs in relation to the number of units. With casting, the variable weighting of production costs and quality requirements are also possible. When designing the shape of the casting, further possibilities arise from the use of inserts and/or from joining the part to other castings or workpieces. In the last decade, aluminium has attained a leading position among cast metals because, in addition to its other positive material properties, this light metal offers the greatest possible variety of casting and joining processes.

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Product range and form of delivery

As ecological and economic trends sensibly move towards the development of closed material circuits, the clear dividing lines between the three classic quality grades of aluminium casting alloys are ever-decreasing. In future, people will simply talk about “casting alloys”. In practice, this is already the case. Metal from used parts is converted back into the same field of application. The DIN EN 1676 and 1706 standards with their rather fluid quality transitions take this trend into account. Aleris is one of only a few companies to produce a wide range of aluminium alloys; our product spectrum extends from classic secondary alloys to highpurity alloys for special applications. Production is in full compliance with the European DIN EN 1676 standard or international standards and in many cases, manufactured to specific customer requirements. We have also been offering several aluminium casting alloys as protected brand-name alloys for many years, e.g. Silumin®®, Pantal®® and Autodur ®.

Our casting alloys are delivered in the form of ingots with a unit weight of approx. 6 kg or as liquid metal. We distinguish between ingots cast in open moulds and horizontal continuously cast ingots (so-called HGM). Ingots are dispatched in bundles of up to approx. 1,300 kg. The delivery of liquid or molten metal is useful and economic when large quantities of one homogeneous casting alloy are required and the equipment for tapping and holding the molten metal containers is available. Supplying molten metal can lead to a substantial reduction in costs as a result of saving melting costs and a reduction in melting losses. The supply of liquid metal also provides a viable alternative in cases where new melting capacities need to be built to comply with emission standards or where space is a problem.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 11

Technical consultancy service The technical consultancy service is the address for questions relating to foundry technology. We provide assistance in clarifying aluminium casting alloy designations as stated in German and international standards or the temper conditions for castings. We also offer advice on the selection of alloys and can provide aluminium foundries or users of castings with information on: • • • • • Aluminium casting alloys Chemical and physical properties Casting and solidification behaviour Casting processes and details regarding foundry technology Melt treatment possibilities, such as cleaning, degassing, modification or grain refinement • Possibilities of influencing the strength of castings by means of alloying elements or heat treatment • Questions relating to surface finish and surface protection.

Technical consultants also provide assistance in evaluating casting defects or surface flaws and offer suggestions with regard to eliminating defects. They supply advice on the design of castings, the construction of dies, the casting system and the configuration of feeders. Technical consultants also provide technical support to aluminium foundries in the preparation of chemical analyses, microsections and structural analyses. Customer feedback coupled with extensive experience in the foundry sector facilitates the continuous optimisation and quality improvement of our aluminium casting alloys. In co-operation with our customers, we are working on gaining wider acceptance of our aluminium casting alloys in new fields of application. Where required and especially where fundamental problems arise, we arrange contracts with leading research institutes in Europe and North America.

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Selecting aluminium casting alloys

To supplement and provide greater depth to our technical explanations, we refer you to standard works on aluminium and aluminium casting alloys. Further details on other specialist literature are available and can be requested at any time. We would be delighted to advise you in such matters.

In the European DIN EN 1676 and DIN EN 1706 standards, the most important aluminium casting alloys have been collated in a version which is valid Europewide. Consequently, there are already more than 41 standard aluminium casting alloys available. Aluminium foundries should – according

As far as possible, the use of common aluminium casting alloys is recommended. These involve well-known and proven casting alloys and we stand fully behind the quality properties of these casting alloys which are often manufactured in large quantities, are more cost-effective than special alloys and, in most cases, can be delivered at short notice.

Should you have any queries or comments, which are always welcome, please contact our technical service. Standard works on aluminium and aluminium casting alloys: • • “Aluminium-Taschenbuch”, Verlag Beuth, Düsseldorf “Aluminium viewed from within Profile of a modern metal”, Prof. Dr. D. G. Altenpohl, Verlag Beuth, Düsseldorf. Once the requirements of a casting have been determined, the selection of the correct casting alloy from the multitude of possibilities often represents a problem for the designer and also for the foundryman. In this case, the “Aluminium-Taschenbuch” can be of great assistance.

to their respective structure – limit themselves to as small a number of casting alloys as possible in order to use their melting equipment economically, to keep inventories as low as possible and to reduce the risk of mixing alloys. With regard to the quality of a casting, it is more sensible to process a casting alloy which is operational in use than one which displays slightly better properties on paper but is actually more difficult to process. The quality potential of a casting alloy is only exploited in a casting if the cast piece is as free as possible of casting defects and is suitable for subsequent process steps (e.g. heat treatment). Our sales team and technicians are on hand to provide foundries and users of castings with assistance in selecting the correct aluminium casting alloy.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 13

Table 1

Criteria for the selection of aluminium casting alloys In the following section, we provide an insight into the chemical and physical potentials of aluminium casting alloys by describing their various properties. The standardisation provided here helps to establish whether a casting alloy is suitable for the specific demands placed on a casting.

Classification of casting alloys acc. to strength properties 1)
Casting alloy Temper Tensile strength Rm [MPa] 330 290 260 170 180 170 150 Elongation Brinell hardness A5 [%] HB 7 4 1 1 1 7 5 95 90 90 75 90 45 50

Strong and ductile Hard Ductile Other

Al Cu4Ti Silumin-Beta Al Si10Mg(a) Al Si8Cu3 Al Si18CuNiMg Silumin Al Mg3

T6 T6 T6 F F F F

1) Typical values for permanent mould casting, established on separately-cast test bars.

Degree of purity One important selection criteria is the degree of purity of a casting alloy. With the increasing purity of a casting alloy family, the corrosion resistance and ductility of the as-cast structure also increase; the selection of pure feedstock for making casting alloys, however, will necessarily cause costs to rise. Strength properties The increasing importance of the closedcircuit economy means that, for the producer of aluminium casting alloys, the transition between the previous quality grades for aluminium casting alloys is becoming ever more fluid. “strong and ductile” Due to their high purity, casting alloys made from primary aluminium display the best corrosion resistance as well as high ductility. By way of example, Silumin-Beta with max. 0.15 % Fe, max. 0.03 % Cu and max. 0.07 % Zn can be mentioned. In many countries, the Silumin trademark has already become a synonym for aluminium-silicon casting alloys. The most important age-hardenable casting alloys belong to this group. By means of different kinds of heat treatment, their properties can be adjusted either in favour of high tensile strength or high elongation. In Table 1, the typical combinations of Rm and A values for Strength properties should be discussed as a further selection criterion (Table 1). A rough subdivision into four groups is practical: Casting alloys made from scrap are, with regard to ductility and corrosion resistance, inferior to other casting alloy groups due to their lower purity. They are, however, widely applicable and meet the set performance requirements. “hard” The casting alloys of this group must display a certain tensile strength and hardness without particular requirements being placed on the metal‘s elongation. First of all, Al SiCu alloys belong to this group. Due to their Cu, Mg and Zn content, these casting alloys experience a certain amount of self-hardening after casting (approx. 1 week). These alloys are particularly important for pressure die casting since it is in pressure die casting – except for special processes such as vacuum die casting – that process-induced structural defects occur, preventing high elongation values. Due to its particularly strong self-hardening characteristics, the Autodur casting aldifferent casting alloys are compared. These casting alloys are used for highgrade construction components, especially for critical parts.

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Table 2

Classification of casting alloys acc. to casting properties
Fluidity Thermal Casting alloy crack susceptibility Low Silumin Al Si12 Al S12(Cu) Al Si10Mg Silumin-Beta Al Si8Cu3 Pantal 7 Al Si5Mg Al Cu4Ti Al Mg3 Low High Al Mg5 Endogenous-globular Mushy Exogenous-rough wall Endogenous-dendritic Type of solidification

Casting properties Further selection criteria comprise cast-

High

Exogenous-shell forming

ing properties such as the fluidity or solidification behaviour which sets the foundryman certain limits. Not every ideally-shaped casting can be cast in every casting alloy. A simplified summary of the casting properties associated with the most important casting alloys is shown in Table 2. Co-operation between the technical designer and an experienced foundryman works to great advantage when looking for the optimum casting alloy for a par-

loy represents a special case allowing hardness values of approx. 100 HB and a corresponding strength – albeit at very low ductility – in all casting processes. Hypereutectic AlSi casting alloys such as Al Si18CuNiMg and Al Si17Cu4Mg, for example, which display particularly high wear resistance due to their high silicon content, can also be classified in this group.

“ductile” Casting alloys which display particularly high ductility, e.g. Silumin-Kappa (Al Si11Mg), come under this general heading. This casting alloy is frequently used for the manufacture of automobile wheels. In this particular application, a high elongation value is required for safety reasons. “other” Casting alloys for more decorative purposes with lower strength properties, e.g. Al Mg3, belong to this category.

ticular application. Given constant conditions, the fluidity of a metallic melt is established by determining the flow length of a test piece. Theoretically, low fluidity can be offset by a higher casting temperature; this is, however, linked with disadvantages such as oxidation and hydrogen absorption as well as increased mould wear. Eutectic AlSi casting alloys such as Silumin or Al Si12 display high fluidity. Hypoeutectic AlSi casting alloys such as Pantal 7 have medium values. AlCu and AlMg casting alloys display low fluidity. Hypereutectic AlSi casting alloys such as Al Si17Cu4Mg occupy a special position. In their case, very long flow paths are observed. This does not however necessarily lead to a drop in the melt temperature since primary silicon crystals already form in the melt. The melt still flows well because the latent heat of solidification of the primary silicon

Aluminium Casting Alloys 15

Table 3

Selection criteria for aluminium casting alloys
Casting properties Shrinkage formation Coarse Fluidity High Thermal crack susceptibility Low Strength characteristics High strength and ductile (T6) Strong and ductile Ductile Silumin Silumin-Kappa Silumin-Delta Al Si12 Al Si12(Cu) Al Si12CuNiMg Al Si17Cu4Mg Al Si18CuNiMg Autodur Silumin-Beta Al Si10Mg Al Si10Mg(Cu) Al Si8Cu3 Pantal 7 Al Cu4Ti Al Mg3Si Al Mg3 Al Mg5 Fine Low High Al Mg9 Hard Corrosion resistance*

* Analogue to DIN EN 1706

heats up the remainder of the melt. The already solidified silicon, however, causes increased mould wear and very uneven distribution in the castings. In these casting alloys, high melting and holding temperatures are necessary so that a casting temperature of at least 720 °C for pressure die casting and 740 °C for sand and gravity die casting has to be attained. The susceptibility to hot tearing is almost the opposite of fluidity (Tables 2 and 3). By hot tearing, we mean a separation of the already crystallised phases during

solidification, e.g. under the influence of shrinkage or other tensions which can be transmitted via the casting moulds. The cracks or tears arising can be healed by, among other things, the feeding of residual melt. Eutectic and near-eutectic AlSi casting alloys also behave particularly well in this case, while AlCu and AlMg casting alloys behave particularly badly. In practice, there are mixed forms and transitional forms of these solidification modes. The solidification behaviour is responsible for the formation of shrink-

age cavities and porosity, for example, or other defects in the cast structure as it determines the distribution of the volume deficit in the casting. To curb the aforementioned casting defects, casting/technical measures need to be taken: e.g. by making adjustments to the sprue system, the thermal balance of the mould or by controlling the gas content of the melt. A volume deficit occurs during transition from liquid to solid state. This is quite small in high silicon casting alloys since the silicon increases in volume during solidification. In any case, the volume deficit incurred

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needs to be offset as far as possible by casting/technical means (see also the section on “Avoiding casting defects”). Figure 1 indicates the main types of solidification; each type is shown at two successive points in time. With regard to aluminium, only high-purity aluminium belongs to Solidification Type A (“exogenous-shell forming”). The only casting alloy which corresponds to this type is the eutectic silicon alloy or Al Si12 with approx. 13 % silicon. The hypoeutectic AlSi casting alloys solidify according to Type C (“spongy”), AlMg casting alloys according to a mix-

ture of Types D and E (“mushy” or “shellforming”). The remaining casting alloys also represent intermediate types. At high solidification speeds, the solidification types move upwards, i.e. in the direction of “exogenous-rough wall”. Shell-forming casting alloys with “smoothwall” or “rough-wall” solidification are susceptible to the formation of macroshrinkage which can only be prevented to a limited extent by feeding. Casting alloys of a spongy-mushy type are susceptible to shrinkage porosity which can only be avoided to a limited extent by feeding. In castings which demand feeding by material accumulation in particular and

which should be extensively pore-free – as well as pressure-tight – the preferred casting alloys are to be found at the top of Table 3. For complex castings whose geometry does not allow each material accumulation to be achieved with a feeder, the casting alloys listed in Table 3 offer advantages provided that a certain amount of microporosity is taken into account.

Exogenous solidification types
A Smooth wall B Rough wall C Spongy

Picture 1

Endogenous solidification types
D Mushy E Shell forming

Mould Fluid Strong

Aluminium Casting Alloys 17

iFe S
Influence of the most important alloying elements on aluminium casting alloys Silicon • • improves the casting properties produces age-hardenability in combination with magnesium but causes a grey colour during anodisation • in pure AlCu casting alloys (e.g. Al Cu4Ti), silicon is a harmful impurity and leads to hot tearing susceptibility. Iron • at a content of approx. 0.2 % and above, has a decidedly negative influence on the ductility (elongation at fracture); this results in a very brittle AlFe(Si) compound in the form of plates which appear in micrographs as “needles”; these plates act like large-scale microstructural separations and lead to fracture when the slightest strain is applied • at a content of approx. 0.4 % and above, reduces the tendency to stickiness in pressure die casting. • • • • • • • • Copper • • • Zinc • •

Nickel • increases high-temperature strength. Titanium • • increases strength (solid-solution hardening) produces grain refinement on its own and together with boron.

increases the strength, also at

high temperatures (hightemperature strength) produces age-hardenability impairs corrosion resistance in binary AlCu casting alloys, the large solidification range needs to be taken into account from a casting/technical point of view. Manganese partially offsets iron‘s negative effect on ductility when iron content is > 0.15 % segregates in combination with iron and chromium reduces the tendency to stickiness in pressure die casting. Magnesium produces age-hardenability in combination with silicon, copper or zinc; with zinc also self-hardening improves corrosion resistance increases the tendency towards oxidation and hydrogen absorption binary AlMg casting alloys are difficult to cast owing to their large solidification range.

increases strength produces (self) age-hardenability in conjunction with magnesium.

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Influencing the microstructural formation of aluminium castings

Measures influencing microstructural formation are aimed at improving the mechanical and casting properties. In practice, apart from varying the cooling speed by means of different mould materials, additions to the melt are usually used.

Common treatment measures include: • • • • • grain refinement of the solid solution with Ti and/or B transformation of the eutectic Si from lamellar into granular form modification of the eutectic Si with Na or Sr refinement of the eutectic Si with Sb refinement of the Si primary phase with P or Sb.

The marked areas in Figure 1 denote where it makes sense to carry out the respective types of treatment on AlSi casting alloys. Some of these measures are explained in more detail in the following section.

Types of treatment to influence grain structure
Temperature [°C] 700
Melt Melt + Al 660 °C Melt + Si Eutectic temperature 577 C° Al Al + Si

Figure 1

600

500

400 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24

Silicon [wt. – %] Primary Si refinement Grain refinement Modification

Al Si5

Al Si7

Al Si9

Al Si12

Al Si18

Aluminium Casting Alloys 19

Figure 2

Grain refinement The solidification of many aluminium casting alloys begins with the formation of aluminium-rich dendritic or equiaxed crystals. In the beginning, these solidified crystallites are surrounded by the remaining melt and, starting from nucleation sites, grow on all sides until they touch the neighbouring grain or the mould wall.

Effect of silicon content on grain refinement with Al Ti5B1 master alloy
Mean grain diameter [µm] 1400 1200 1000 800 600 Casting temperature 720 °C holding time 5 min

The characterisation of a grain is the equiaxed spatial arrangement on the lattice level. For casting/technical or optical/decorative reasons as well as for reasons of chemical resistance, it is often desirable to set the size of these grains as uniformly as possible or as finely as technically possible. To achieve this, so-called grain refinement is frequently carried out. The idea is to offer the solidifying aluminium as many nucleating agents as possible. Since grain refinement only affects the α-solid solution, it is more effective when the casting alloy contains little silicon, i.e. a lower fraction of eutectic (Figure 2). Grain refinement is particularly important in AlMg and AlCu casting alloys in order to reduce their tendency to hot tearing. From a technical and smelting perspective, grain refinement mostly takes place by adding special Al TiB master alloys. We pre-treat the appropriate casting alloys when producing the alloys so that grain refinement in the foundry is either unnecessary or only needs a freshenup. The latter can be done in the form of salts, pellets or preferably with titanium master alloy wire, following the manufacturer’s instructions. To make a qualitative assessment of a particular grain refinement treatment, thermal analysis can be carried out (see section on “Melt testing and inspection procedure”). Since every alloying operation means more contaminants in the melt, grain refinement should only be carried out for the reasons referred to above.
Columnar and equiaxed crystals Without grain refinement With grain refinement Al Ti5B1: 2,0 kg/mt 0 0 2 4 6 Silicon [%] 8 10 12 400 200

20 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Modification of AlSi eutectic (refinement) By “modification”, we mean the use of a specific melt treatment to set a fine-grained eutectic silicon in the cast structure which improves the mechanical properties (and elongation in particular) as well as the casting properties in many cases. As a general rule, modification is carried out by adding small amounts of sodium or strontium. To facilitate an understanding of the possible forms of eutectic silicon, these are depicted in Figure 2 (a-e) for Al Si11 with a varying Na content: a) The lamellar condition only appears in casting alloys which are virtually free of phosphorous or modification agents, e.g. Na or Sr. b) In granular condition which appears in the presence of phosphorous without Na or Sr, the silicon crystals exist in the form of coarse grains or plates. c) In undermodified and d) to a great extent in fully-modified microstructural condition, e.g. by adding Na or Sr, they are significantly reduced in size, rounded and evenly distributed which has a particularly positive effect on elongation. e) In the case of overmodification with sodium, vein-like bands with coarse Si crystals appear. Overmodification can therefore mean deterioration as regards mechanical properties.

Figures 3 and 4 depict the formation of microstructural conditions or the degree of modification as a result of interaction between sodium and strontium and the phosphorous element. It can be ascertained that the disruption of modification due to small amounts of phosphorous is relatively slight. In Sr modification, a high phosphorous content can be offset by an increased amount of modifying agent. In aluminium casting alloys with a silicon content exceeding 7 %, eutectic, silicon takes up a larger part of the area of a metallographic specimen. From a silicon content of approx. 7 to 13 %, the type of eutectic formation, e.g. grained or modified, thus plays a key role in determining the performance characteristics, especially the ductility

or elongation. When higher elongation is required in a workpiece, aluminium casting alloys containing approx. 7 to 13 % silicon will thus be modified by adding approx. 0.0040 to 0.0100 % sodium (40 to 100 ppm). In casting alloys with approx. 11 % silicon, particularly for use in low-pressure die casting, strontium can also be used as a long-term modifier since the melting loss behaviour of this element is substantially better than that of sodium. In this case, the recommended addition is approx. 0.014 to 0.04 % Sr (140 to 400 ppm). With suitable casting alloys, the required amount of strontium can be added during alloy manufacture so that, as a rule, the modification process step

Types of grain structure

Picture 2

a) Lamellar

b) Granular

c) Undermodified

d) Modified

e) Overmodified

Aluminium Casting Alloys 21

Figure 3

Figure 4

Microstructural formation in relation to the content of phosphorous and sodium Al Si7Mg
Sodium [ppm] 140 Sand casting cooling rate 0.1 K/s

Microstructural formation in relation to the content of phosphorous and strontium Al Si7Mg
Strontium [ppm] 450 Gravity die casting gravity die cast test bar cooling rate 2.5 K/s

120 400 100 350 80 300 60 250 40 200 20 150 0 100 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 50 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Phosphorous [ppm] Overmodified Granular Modified Lamellar Undermodified

Phosphorous [ppm] Modified Undermodified Granular Lamellar

can be omitted in the foundry. At low cooling rates, strontium modification is less effective so that it is not advisable to use this in sand casting processes. To avoid the burn-off of strontium, any cleaning and degassing of Sr-modified melts should be carried out with chlorinefree preparations only, preferably using argon or nitrogen. Strontium modification is not greatly impaired even when remelting revert material. Larger losses

can be offset by adding Sr master alloy wire in accordance with the respective manufacturer‘s instructions. At the right temperature, the addition of sodium to the melt is best done by charging standard portions. For easy handling, storage and proportioning, the manufacturer‘s recommendations and safety instructions should be followed. Since sodium burns off from the melt relatively quickly, subsequent modifi-

cation must take place in the foundry at regular intervals. In melts modified with sodium, any requested cleaning and degassing should be carried out with chlorine-free compounds only (argon or nitrogen). A certain amount of sodium burn-off is to be reckoned with, however, and needs to be taken into account in the subsequent addition of sodium. When absolutely necessary, the melt can be treated with chlorinereleasing compounds long before the

22 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Figure 5

first addition of sodium. If such treatment is carried out after adding sodium or strontium, chlorine may react with these elements and remove them from the melt, thereby preventing any further modification. Modification with sodium or strontium increases the tendency to gas absorption in the melt. As a result of the reaction of the precipitating hydrogen with the rapidly-forming oxides, defects can occur in the casting, especially cumulant microporosity. In many practical cases, this potential for micropore formation is even desirable. Then, the purpose of modification is also to offset the expected macroshrinkage by forming many micropores. An accurate assessment of the effects of modification can only be made by means of metallographic examination. As a quick test, thermal analysis can be carried out if it is possible to establish by means of a preliminary metallographic examination which depression value is necessary to attain a sufficiently-modified grain structure (for more information on thermal analysis, please refer to the section on “Methods for monitoring the melt”). Under the same conditions, rapid determination of the modified condition is also possible by measuring the electrical conductance of a sample. In aluminium casting alloys of the type Al Si7Mg, a refinement of the eutectic silicon with antimony (Sb) is possible.

Influence of antimony and phosphorous content on the form of the eutectic silicon of Al Si7Mg
Antimony [%] 0.30 High-purity base

0.20 Coarse-lamellar

0.10 Acceptable Coarse-lamellar to granular

0.00 0 2 4 6 8 10

Phosphorous [ppm]

A Sb content of at least 0.1 % is required. This treatment, however, only produces a finer formation of the lamellar eutectic silicon and is not really modification in the traditional sense. The danger of contamination of other melts by closedcircuit material containing Sb exists as even a Sb content of approx. 100 ppm can disturb normal sodium or strontium modification. What‘s more, refinement with antimony can be easily disturbed by only a low level of phosphorous (a few ppm) (Figure 5). In contrast to modification, refinement with antimony can not be checked by means of thermal analysis of a melt sample.

Refinement of primary silicon In hypereutectic AlSi casting alloys (e.g. Al Si18CuNiMg), the silicon-rich, polygonal primary crystals solidify first. To produce as many fine crystals as possible in the as-cast structure, nucleating agents need to be provided. This is done with the aid of preparations or master alloys which contain phosphorous-aluminium compounds. This treatment can also be carried out when the alloy is being manufactured and, in most cases, the foundryman does not need to repeat the process. If required, the quality of such primary refinement can be checked by means of thermal analysis.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 23

Melt quality and melt cleaning

All factors which come under the general term of “melt quality” have a direct effect on the quality of the casting to be produced. Inversely, according to DIN EN 1706, the cast samples play a valuable role in checking the quality of the melt. Most problems in casting are caused by two natural properties of liquid melts, i.e. their marked tendency to form oxides and their tendency towards hydrogen absorption. Furthermore, other insoluble impurities, such as Al-carbides or refractory particles as well as impurities with iron, play an important role.

Critical melting temperatures in relation to the segregation factor
Temperature [°C] 650 640 630 620 610 600 590 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0

Figure 6

2.2

As mentioned in other sections, the larger oxide film can lead to a material separation in the microstructure and, consequently, to a reduction in the loadbearing cross-section of the casting. The solubility of hydrogen in aluminium decreases discontinuously during the transition from liquid to solid so that as solidification takes place, precipitating gaseous hydrogen reacting with existing oxides can cause voids which can in turn take various forms ranging from large pipe-like blisters to finely-distributed micro-porosity.
Al Si8Cu3

Segregation factor [(Fe)+2(Mn)+3(Cr)] Al Si6Cu4 Al Si12(Cu)

To achieve good melt quality, the formation of oxides and the absorption of hydrogen have to be suppressed as much as possible on the one hand, while other hydrogen and oxides have to be removed from the melt as far as possible on the other, although this is only possible to a certain extent.

24 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Avoiding impurities Ingot quality An essential prerequisite for a good casting is good ingot quality. The metal should be cleaned effectively and the ingots should display neither metallic nor non-metallic inclusions. The ingots must be dry (there is a risk of explosion when damp) and no oil or paint residue should be present on their surface. When using revert material, this should be in lumps, if possible, and well cleaned.

Melting When melting ingots or revert material, it must be ensured that the metal is not exposed unnecessarily to the flame or furnace atmosphere. The pieces of metal should be melted down swiftly, i.e. following short preheating, immersed directly in the liquid melt. Large-volume hearth or crucible furnaces are best suited to melting. Furnaces with melting bridges are oxide producers and they lead to expensive, unnecessary and irretrievable metal losses. The type and state of the melt in contact with refractory materials are of particular importance in the melting and holding of aluminium. Aluminium and aluminium casting alloys in a molten state are very aggressive, especially when AlSi melts contain sodium or strontium as modifying agents. With an eye to quality, reactions, adherences, infiltrations, abrasive wear and decomposition have to be kept within limits when using melting crucibles and refractory materials as well as during subsequent processing. The care and maintenance as well as cleanliness of equipment are equally important. Adhering materials can very easily lead to the undesired redissolving of oxides in the melt and cause casting defects.

Melting temperature The temperature of the melt must be set individually for each alloy. Too low melting temperatures lead to longer residence times and, as a result, to greater oxidation of the pieces jutting out of the melt. The melt becomes homogeneous too slowly, i.e. local undercooling allows segregation to take place, even as far as tenacious gravity segregation of the FeMnCrSi type phases. The mathematical interrelationship for the segregation of heavy intermetallic phases is depicted in Figure 6. Furthermore, at too low temperatures, autopurification of the melt (oxides rising) can not take place. When the temperature of the melt is too high, increased oxide formation and gassing can occur. Lighter alloying elements, e.g. magnesium, are subject to burn-off in any case; this must be offset by appropriate additions. Too high melting temperatures aggravate this loss by burning.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 25

Figure 7

Conducting the melting operation As long as the melt is in a liquid condition, it has a tendency to oxidise and absorb hydrogen. Critical points during subsequent processing include decantation, the condition or maintenance of the transfer vessel, possible reactions with refractory materials as well as transport or metal tapping. The addition of grain refiners and modifying agents above the required amount can lead to an increase in non-metallic impurities and greater hydrogen absorption. To minimise an enrichment of iron in the melt, direct contact between ferrous materials and the melt is to be avoided. For this reason, steel tools and containers (casting ladles) must be carefully dressed. Similarly, but also on economic grounds, the feed tubes for low-pressure now – should be replaced by ceramic feed tubes. Even during the casting process itself and especially due to turbulence in the flow channel, oxide skins can once again form which in turn can lead to casting defects. Casting technology is thus required to find ways of preventing the excessive oxidation of the melt, e.g. by means of intelligent runners and gating systems (please refer to the section on “Selecting the casting process”). die casting – made from cast iron up to

Hydrogen content of various casting alloy melts after different types of treatment
Hydrogen [ml/100g] 0.50

0.40

0.30

0.20

0.10

0.00 10 After melting 20 Rotary degassing [min] 30 0.5 2 Holding in [h] 4 24 Gassing 10 20 24h

Type of melt treatment

Al Si8Cu3

Pantal 7

Al Mg5

26 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Rotary degassing [min]

Cleaning and degassing the melt Our casting alloys consist of effectively cleaned metal. Since reoxidation always takes place during smelting, and in practice revert material is always used, a thorough cleaning of the melt is necessary prior to casting. Holding the aluminium melt at the correct temperature for a long time is an effective cleaning method. It is, however, very time-intensive and not carried out that often as a result. Foundrymen are thus left with only intensive methods, i.e. using technical equipment or the usual commercially available mixture of salts. In principle, melt cleaning is a physical process: the gas bubbles rising through the liquid metal attach oxide films to their outer surfaces and allow hydrogen to diffuse into the bubbles from the melt. Both are transported to the bath surface by the bubbles. It is therefore clear that in order for cleaning of the melt to be effective, it is desirable to have as many small gas bubbles as possible distributed across the entire cross-section of the bath.

Dross can be removed from the surface of the bath, possibly with the aid of oxide-binding salts. Inert-gas flushing by means of an impeller is a widely-used, economical and environmentally-sound cleaning process. The gas stream is dispersed in the form of very small bubbles by the rapid turning of a rotor and, in conjunction with the good intermixing of the melt, this leads to very efficient degassing. To achieve an optimum degassing effect, the various parameters such as rotor diameter and revolutions per minute, gas flow rate, treatment time, geometry and size of the crucible used as well as the alloy, have to be co-ordinated. The course of degassing and reabsorption of hydrogen is depicted for various casting alloys in Figure 7. When using commercially available salt preparations, the manufacturer‘s instructions concerning use, proportioning, storage and safety should be followed.

Apart from this, attention should also be paid to the quality and care of tools and auxiliary materials used for cleaning so that the cleaning effect is not impaired. If practically feasible, it is also possible to filter the melt using a ceramic foam filter. In the precision casting of highgrade castings, especially in the sand casting process, the use of ceramic filters in the runner to the sand mould has proved to be a success. Above all, such a filter leads to an even flow and can retain coarse impurities and oxides. In the gravity die casting of sensitive hydraulic parts, or when casting subsequently anodised decorative fittings in Al Mg3, ladling out of a device which is fitted with in-line filter elements and separated from the remaining melt bath is very common.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 27

Melt testing and inspection procedure To assess the effectiveness of the cleaning process or the quality of the melt, the following test and inspection methods can be used to monitor the melt: Reduced pressure test This method serves to determine the tendency to pore formation in the melt during solidification. A sample, which can contain a varying number of gas bubbles depending on the gas content, is allowed to solidify at an underpressure of 80 mbar. The apparent density is then compared with that of a sample which is solidified at atmospheric pressure. The so-called “Density Index” is then calculated using the following equation: DI DI = (dA - d80)/dA x 100 % = Density Index at atmospheric pressure d80 = density of the sample solidified at under 80 mbar

The Density Index allows a certain inference to be drawn about the hydrogen content of the melt. It is, however, strongly influenced by the alloying elements and, above all, by varying content of impurities so that the hydrogen content must not on any account be stated as a Density Index value (Figure 8). The assessment of melt quality by means of an underpressure density sample therefore demands the specific determination of a critical Density Index value for each casting alloy and for each application. The underpressure density method is, however, a swift and inexpensive method with the result that it is already used in many foundries for quality control. To keep results comparable, sampling should always be carried out according to set parameters.

Determination of the hydrogen content in the melt Reliable instruments have been in operation for years for measuring the hydrogen content in aluminium melts. They work according to the principle of establishing equilibration between the melt and a measuring probe so that the actual gas content in the melt is determined and not in the solid sample. In this way, the effectiveness of the degassing treatment can be assessed quickly. The procurement of such an instrument for continuous quality monitoring is only worthwhile when it is used frequently; in small foundries, the hiring of an instrument to solve problems is sufficient.

dA = density of the sample solidified

28 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Figure 8

Determination of insoluble non-metallic impurities For determining the number and type of insoluble non-metallic impurities in aluminium melts, the Porous Disc Filtration Apparatus (PoDFA) method, among others, can be used. In this particular method, a precise amount of the melt is squeezed through a fine filter and the trapped impurities are investigated metallographically with respect to their type and number. The PoDFA method is one of the determination procedures which facilitates the acquisition, both qualitatively and quantitatively, of the impurity content. It is used primarily for evaluating the filtration and other cleaning treatments employed and, in casting alloys production, is utilised at regular intervals for the purpose of quality control. This method is not suitable for making constant routine checks since it is very time-consuming and entails high costs.

Correlation between the hydrogen content and density index in unmodified Al Si9Mg alloy
Density index [%] 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 Measurement acc. to Chapel at vacum 30 mbar

Hydrogen content [ml/100g]

Aluminium Casting Alloys 29

Figure 9

Thermal analysis To evaluate the effectiveness of melt treatment measures, e.g. modification, grain refinement and primary silicon refining, thermal analysis has proved itself to be a fast and relatively inexpensive method in many foundries. The test method is based on the comparison of two cooling curves of the investigated melts (Figures 9 and 10). The undercooling effect (recalescence) occurring during primary solidification allows conclusions to be made about the effectiveness of a grain refinement treatment, whereby the recalescence values do not however allow conclusions to be drawn as regards the later grain size in the microstructure. Modification is shown in thermal analysis by a decrease in the eutectic temperature (depression) in comparison to the unmodified state. Here too, the level of the depression values depend strongly on the content of accompanying and alloying elements (e.g. Mg) and, consequently, the depression values required for sufficient modification must be established case by case, by means of parallel microstructural investigations.

Thermal analysis for monitoring the grain refinement of Al casting alloys
Temperature [T]

TL TL

Time [t] With grain refinement Liquidus temperature [TL] Without grain refinement

Figure 10

Thermal analysis for monitoring the modification of Al casting alloys
Temperature [°C] 585 580 577 575 570 565 560 0 10 20 Time [sec] Modified Undermodified Eutectic temperature 30 40 50

30 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Selecting the casting process

As mentioned in the introduction, the entire “casting” process is the shortest route from molten metal to a part which is almost ready for use. All sections of this catalogue contain advice on how the entire experience should be carried out. The casting process is selected according to various criteria such as batch size, degree of complexity or requisite mechanical properties of the casting. Some examples: The sand casting process is used predominantly in two fields of application: for prototypes and small-scale production on the one hand and for the volume production of castings with a very complex geometry on the other. For the casting of prototypes, the main arguments in favour of the sand casting process are its high degree of flexibility in the case of design changes and the comparably low cost of the model. In volume production, the level of complexity and precision achieved in the castings are its main advantages. When higher mechanical properties are required in the cast piece, such as higher elongation or strength, gravity die casting, and to a limited extent pressure die casting, are used. In gravity die casting, there is the possibility of using sand cores. Large differences in wall thick-

nesses can be favourably influenced with the help of risers. Cylinder heads for water-cooled engines represent a typical application. In the low-pressure gravity die process with its upward and controllable cavity filling, the formation of air pockets is reduced to a minimum and, consequently, high casting quality can be achieved. In addition to uphill filling, the overpressure of approx. 0.5 bar has a positive effect on balancing out defects caused by shrinkage. The low-pressure die casting process is particularly advantageous in the casting of rotationally symmetrical parts, e.g. in the manufacture of passenger vehicle wheels.

Squeeze-casting is another casting process to be mentioned; here, solidification takes place at high pressure. In this way, an almost defect-free microstructure can be produced even where there are large transitions in the cross-section and insufficient feeding. Other special casting processes include: • • • • • Precision casting Evaporative pattern casting Plaster mould casting Vacuum sand casting Centrifugal casting.

The considerations above concern casting as an overall process. In the following notes on casting prac-

Pressure die casting is the most widely used casting process for aluminium casting alloys. Pressure die casting is of particular advantage in the volume production of parts where the requirement is on high surface quality and the least possible machining. Special applications (e.g. vacuum) during casting enable castings to be welded followed by heat treatment which fully exploits the property potential displayed by the casting alloy. In addition to conventional pressure die casting, thixocasting is worthy of mention since heat-treatable parts can also be manufactured using this process. The special properties are achieved by shaping the metal during the solidliquid phase.

tice, the actual pouring of the molten metal into prepared moulds and the subsequent solidification control are looked at in more detail. From the numerous casting processes, which differ from one another in the type of mould material (sand casting, permanent dies etc.) or by pressurisation (pressure die casting, low-pressure die casting etc.), a few notes are provided here on the most important processes.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 31

Pressure die casting process This process takes up the largest share. The hydraulically-controlled pressure die casting machine and the in-built die make up the central element of the process. The performance, the precise control of the hydraulic machine, the quality of the relatively expensive tools made from hot work steel are the decisive factors in this process. In contrast, the flow properties and solidification of the aluminium casting alloys play a rather subordinate role in this “forced” casting process. The pouring operation in horizontal pressure die casting begins with the casting chamber being filled with metal. The first movement, i.e. the slow advance of the plunger and the consequent pile-up of metal until the sleeve is completely filled, is the most important operation. In doing this, no flashover of the metal or other turbulence may occur until all of the air in the sleeve has been squeezed out. Immediately afterwards, the actual casting operation begins with the rapid casting phase. High injection pressure is essential to achieve high flow velocities in the metal. In this way, the die can be filled in a few hundredths of a second. Throughout the casting operation, the liquid metal streams are subject to the laws of hydrodynamics. Sharp turns and collisions with the die walls lead to a clear division of the metal stream.

Parts generated using the horizontal pressure die casting process are lightweight as low wall thicknesses can be achieved. They have a good surface finish, high dimensional accuracy and only require a low machining allowance in their design. Many bore holes can be pre-cast. The melting and casting temperatures should not be too low and should be checked constantly. Pre-melting aluminium casting alloys is useful. The melt can thus be given a good clean in order to keep the melt homogeneous and to avoid undesirable gravity segregation (see Figure 6). From a statistical point of view, more casting defects arise from cold metal than from hot. It is particularly important to keep a sufficiently high melting temperature, even with hypereutectic alloys. These comments are also valid for other casting processes.

Gravity die casting process The gravity die casting which includes the well-known low-pressure die casting process is applied. The main fields of application are medium- or high-volume production using high-grade alloys, and also low to medium component weight using heat-treatable alloys. Compared with sand casting, the aluminium castings display very good microstructural properties as well as good to very good mechanical properties which result from the rapid cooling times and the other easily-controlled operating parameters. The castings have high dimensional accuracy and stability as well as a good surface finish, are heat-treatable and can also be anodised. The basis for good quality castings is, not least, the right melt treatment and the appropriate casting temperature (see section on “Melt quality and melt cleaning”). For castings with high surface or microstructural quality requirements, such as in decorative or subsequently anodised components or in pressuretight hydraulic parts, it is useful to filter the melt before casting.

32 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Demands on the casting system To keep disadvantages and defects – which constantly arise from an oxide skin forming on the melt – within limits, the gating system must guarantee low turbulence in the metal stream and also a smooth, controlled filling of the die cavity. With the transition from a liquid to a solid condition, volume contraction occurs; this can amount to up to 7 % of the volume. This shrinkage is controllable when the solid-liquid interface runs – controlled or directed – through the casting, mostly from the bottom to the top. This task, namely to effect a directed solidification, can be achieved with a good pouring system.

The castings are usually arranged “upright” in the die. The greatest mass can thus be placed in the bottom of the die. Quality requirements can be, for example, high strength, high-pressure tightness or decorative anodising quality. One example of an “ideal” gating system which meets the highest casting requirements is the so-called “slit gate system”. Here, the metal is conducted upwards continuously or discontinuously to the casting via a main runner. During mould filling, the melt is thus superimposed layer upon layer with the hotter metal always flowing over the already solidifying metal. The standpipe ends in the top riser and supplies it with hot metal. This way, the solidification can be directed from below, possibly supported by cooling, towards the top running through the casting and safeguarding the continuous supply of hot metal. When there is a wide flare in the casting, the gating system has to be laid out on both sides. This symmetry ensures a division of the metal and also an even distribution of the heat in the die.

In low-pressure die casting, directing the solidification by means of the gating system is not possible. Nor is there any great possibility of classic feeding. Directional solidification is only possible by controlling the thermal balance of the die during casting. This mostly requires the installation of an expensive coolingheating system. Simulation calculations for die filling and solidification can be useful when laying out and designing the die and possibly the cooling. In actual production, the cooling and cycle time can be optimised by means of thermography (see section on “Solidification simulation and thermography”).

Aluminium Casting Alloys 33

Sand casting process This process is used especially for individual castings, prototypes and small batch production. It is, however, also used for the volume production of castings with a very complex geometry (e.g. inlet manifolds, cylinder heads or crankcases for passenger vehicle engines).

Another generally valid casting rule for correct solidification is to arrange risers above the thick-walled parts, cooling (e.g. by means of chills) at opposite ends. This way, the risers can perform their main task longer, namely to conduct the supply of molten metal into the contracted end. Insulated dies are often helpful. The cross-section ratio in the sprue system

This facilitates keeping the run-in launder full and leads to a smoother flow of the metal. This way, the formation of oxides due to turbulence can be kept within limits. The main runner must lie in the drag, the gates in the cope. In the production of high-grade castings, it is normal to install ceramic filters or sieves made from glass fibre. The selection of the casting process and the layout of the casting system should be carried out in close co-operation between the customer, designer and foundryman (see section on “Casting-compliant design”).

During shaping and casting, most large sand castings display in-plane expansion. With this flat casting method, gating systems like those which are normal in gravity die casting for directing solidification are often not applicable. If possible, a superimposed filling of the die cavity should be attempted here.

should be something like the following: Sprue : Sum of the runner cross-section : Sum of the gates: like 1 : 4 : 4.

34 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Casting-compliant design

The following notes on the design of aluminium castings are provided to help exploit in full the advantages and design possibilities of near net shape casting. They also align practical requirements with material suitability. Aluminium casting alloys can be processed in practically all conventional casting processes, whereby pressure die casting accounts for the largest volume, followed by gravity die casting and sand casting. The most useful casting process is not only dependent on the number and weight of pieces but also on other technical and economic conditions (see section on “Selecting the casting process”). To find the optimum solution and produce a light part as cheaply and rationally as possible, co-operation between the designer, caster and materials engineer is always necessary. Knowledge concerning the loads applied, the distribution of stress, the range of chemical loading and operation temperatures is important.

In the valid European standard, DIN EN 1706 for aluminium castings, there are strength values only for separately-cast bars using sand and gravity die casting. For samples cut from the cast piece, a reduction in the 0.2 % proof stress and ultimate tensile strength values of up to 70 % and a decrease in elongation of up to 50 % from the test bar can be anticipated. When the alloy and the casting process are specified, so too is the next point within the framework of the design, i.e. determination of the die parting line. Die parting on one level is not only the cheapest for patterns and dies but also for subsequent working and machining. Likewise, every effort should be made to produce a casting without undercuts. This is followed by designing and determining the actual dimensions of the part. The constant guideline must be to achieve a defect-free cast structure wherever possible.

Only through good cast quality can the technical requirements be met and the full potential of the casting alloy be exploited. Every effort and consideration must be made therefore to design a light, functionally efficient part whose manufacture and machining can be carried out as efficiently as possible. For this and subsequent considerations, the use of solidification simulation is available (see section on “Solidification simulation and thermography”). Casting alloys shrink during solidification, i.e. their volume is reduced. This increases the risk of defects in the cast structure, such as cavities, pores or shrinkage holes, tears or similar. The most important requirement is thus to avoid material accumulations by having as even a wall thickness as possible. In specialist literature, the following lower limits for wall thickness are given: • • • Sand castings: 3-4 mm Gravity die castings: 2-3 mm Pressure die castings: 1-1.5 mm.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 35

The minimum values are also dependent on the casting alloy and the elongation of the casting. In pressure die casting, the minimum wall thickness also depends on the position of and distance to the gate system.

Another possible way of avoiding material accumulations is to loosen the nodes. At points where fins cross, a mass accumulation can be prevented by staggering the wall layout. The corners where walls or fins meet

Fettling the casting, i.e. removing the riser and feeders, must be carried out as efficiently as possible. Grinding should be avoided where possible. Reworking and machining should also be easy to carry out. Machining allowances are to be kept as small as possible. Essential inspections or quality tests should be facilitated by constructive measures.

Generally speaking, the wall thickness should be as thin as possible and only as thick as necessary. With increasing wall thickness, the specific strength of the cast structure deteriorates.

should be provided with as large transitions as possible. Where walls of different thickness meet, the transitions should be casting-compliant. Where the casting size and process

Determining casting-compliant wall thicknesses also means, especially with sand and gravity die casting, that the die must first of all be filled perfectly. During subsequent solidification, a dense cast structure can only occur if the shrinkage is offset by feeding from liquid melt. Here, a wall thickness extending upwards as a connection to the riser may be necessary.

permit, bores should be pre-cast. This improves the cross-section ratio and structural quality. Apart from the points referred to above, a good design also takes account of practical points and decorative appearance as well as the work procedures and machining which follow the actual casting operation.

36 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Solidification simulation and thermography

Solidification simulation A basic aim in the manufacture of castings is to avoid casting defects while minimising the amount of material in the recycling circuit. Optimisation of the manufacture of castings with regard to casting geometry, gating and feeding system and casting parameters can be achieved via numerical simulation of die filling and the mechanisms of solidification on the computer. Casting defects can thus be detected in good time and the casting design and casting system optimised before the first casting operation takes place. In principle, flow and thermal conduction phenomena which occur during casting can be calculated numerically using simulation programmes. In calculation models, the casting and die geometry – which first of all must be available in a CAD volume model – is thus divided into small volume elements (Finite Difference Method). The flow velocities and temperatures in the individual volume elements are then calculated using a numerical method.

Possible positive effects of simulation calculations include: • • • Optimisation of the casting before casting actually takes place Avoiding casting defects Optimisation of the feeding system (reducing material in the recycling circuit) • • • Optimisation of the casting process (reducing cycle times) Increasing process stability Visualisation of the die-filling and solidification process. A simulation programme does not optimise on its own and can not, and should not, replace the experienced foundryman. To exploit the potential of die-filling and solidification simulation to the full, it should be applied as early as possible, i.e. already at the design stage of the casting.

Thermography Even after a casting goes into volume production, it is often desirable and necessary to optimise the casting process and increase process stability. Besides the aforementioned solidification simulation, periodic thermal monitoring of the dies by means of thermography is used in particular. In this process, a thermogramme of the die or casting to be investigated is made with the aid of an infrared camera. This way, the effectiveness of cooling, e.g. in pressure or gravity die casting, can be checked or optimised and the optimum time for lifting determined.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 37

Avoiding casting defects

As shown in Table 4, there are two phenomena which – individually or in combination – can lead to defects in emergent castings: 1. The continuous (new) formation of oxides in the liquid state and 2. volume contraction during the transition from liquid to solid state. During transition from liquid to solid state, the dissolved hydrogen in the melt precipitates and, on interacting with oxides, causes the well-known problem of microporosity or gas porosity. The task of melt management and treatment is to keep oxide formation and, consequently, the dangers to cast quality within limits. Information about this is provided in the sections on “Melt

quality and melt cleaning” as well as “Methods for melt monitoring” and “Selecting the casting process”. Here are a few key points: • • • • • • Use good quality ingots Quality-oriented melting technology and equipment Correct charging of the ingots (dry, rapid melting) Temperature control during melting and casting Melt cleaning and melt control Safety measures during treatment, transport and casting Volume contraction during the transition from liquid to solid state can - depending on the casting alloy - be up to 7 % volume. Under unfavourable conditions, part of this volume difference can be the cause of defects in castings, e.g. shrink marks, shrink holes, pores or tears. To produce a good casting, the possibility of feeding additional molten metal into the contracting microstructure during solidification must exist. In pressure casting processes, this occurs by means of pressurisation; in gravity die casting, this is done primarily by feeding.

The type of solidification is also important when considering suitable casting/ technical measures. In AlSi casting alloys with approx. 13 % Si, a frozen shell forms during solidification while, in hypoeutectic AlSi casting alloys as well as in AlMg and AlCu casting alloys, a predominantly dendritic or globular solidification occurs. In gravity die casting processes, the feeders are laid out in particularly critical or thick areas of the casting. The feeders require hot metal in appropriately large volumes to execute their task. The combination of feeding and cooling is useful. Heat removal to accelerate and control solidification at the lower end of the casting or in solid areas can be effected by means of metal plates or surface chills (cooling elements).

38 Aluminium Casting Alloys

As already shown in the section on casting processes, an uncontrolled or turbulent filling of the die cavity can have a negative influence on the quality of the casting. A gating system which allows the solidification front to be controlled upwards through the casting from the bottom up to the feeder is helpful. A good casting system, e.g. side stand pipe-slit gate, begins the filling in the lower part of the die and always layers the new hot metal on the lower, already solidified part and also supplies the feeder with hot metal. A casting system of this type can partially cushion the negative effect caused by volume contraction while conducting the molten metal in such a way that fresh oxidation of the melt due to turbulence is avoided.

Two methods can be used to reduce the number of defective parts due to porosity: In hot isostatic pressing (HIP), porous castings are subjected to high pressure at elevated temperatures so that shrinkage and pores inside the castings are reduced; they do not, however, completely disappear. A second and less costly possibility is the sealing of castings by immersing them in plastic solutions. The shrinkage and pores, which extend to the surface, are filled with plastic and therefore sealed.

Table 4

Classification of casting defects
Source of defect Consequences for the casting Optimisation possibilities

Oxidation and hydrogenabsoption

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Pores Aeration Inclusions Leakiness Surface defects Machining Loss of strength and elongation Cavity Shrinkage Aeration Leakiness Loss of strength and elongation

• • •

Melt treatment and degassing Melting and casting temperature Filter

Volume contraction

• • • • •

Gating system Solidification control Feeding Grain refinement Modification

Aluminium Casting Alloys 39

Heat treatment of aluminium castings

Heat treatment gives users of castings the possibility of specifically improving the mechanical properties or even chemical resistance. Depending on the casting type, the following common and applied methods for aluminium castings can be used: • • • • • Stress relieving Stabilising Homogenising Soft annealing Age-hardening.

Metallurgy – fundamental principles For age-hardening to take place, there must be a decreasing solubility of a particular alloy constituent in the α-solid solution with falling temperature. As a rule, age-hardening comprises three steps: In solution annealing, sufficient amounts of the important constituents for agehardening are dissolved in the α-solid solution.

In ageing, mostly artificial ageing, precipitation of the forcibly dissolved components takes place in the form of small sub-microscopically phases which cause an increase in hardness and strength. These tiny phases, which are technically referred to as “coherent or semicoherent phases”, represent obstacles to the movement of dislocations in the metal, thereby strengthening the previously easily-formable metal. The following casting alloy types are

The most important form of heat treatment for aluminium castings is artificial ageing. Further information is provided below.

With rapid quenching, these constituents remain in solution. Afterwards, the parts are relatively soft.

age-hardenable: • • • • • Al Cu Al CuMg Al SiMg Al MgSi Al ZnMg.

Figure 11.1

Figure 11.2

Yield strength of gravity die cast test bars (Diez die) in Al Si10Mg alloy
Yield strength Rp0,2 [MPa] 280 240 200 160 120 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

Elongation of gravity die cast test bars (Diez die) in Al Si10Mg alloy
Elongation A5 [%] 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

Ageing time [h] 160 °C 180 °C 200 °C As-cast state 160 °C 180 °C

Ageing time [h] 200 °C As-cast state

40 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Solution annealing To bring the hardened constituents into solution as quickly as possible and in a sufficient amount, the solution annealing temperature should be as high as possible with, however, a safety margin of approx. 15 K to the softening point of the casting alloy in order to avoid incipient fusion. For this reason, it is often suggested that casting alloys containing Cu should undergo step-by-step solution annealing (at first 480 °C, then 520 °C). The annealing time depends on the wall thickness and the casting process. Compared with sand castings, gravity die castings require a shorter annealing time to dissolve the constituents sufficiently due to their finer microstructure. In principle, an annealing time of around one hour

suffices. The normally longer solution annealing times of up to 12 hours, as for example in Al SiMg alloys, produce a good spheroidising or rounding of the eutectic silicon and, therefore, a marked improvement in elongation. The respective values for age-hardening temperatures and times for the individual casting alloys can be indicated on the respective data sheets. During the annealing phase, the strength of the castings is still very low. They must also be protected against bending and distortion. With large and sensitive castings, it may be necessary to place them in special jigs.

Quenching Hot castings must be cooled in water as rapidly as possible (5-20 seconds depending on wall thickness) to suppress any unwanted, premature precipitation of the dissolved constituents. After quenching, the castings display high ductility. This abrupt quenching and the ensuing increase in internal stresses can lead to distortion of the casting. Parts are often distorted by vapour bubble pressure shocks incurred during the rapid immersion of hollow castings. If this is a problem, techniques such as spraying under a water shower or quenching in hot water or oil have proved their value as a first cooling phase. Nevertheless, any straightening work necessary at this stage should be carried out after quenching and before ageing.

Figure 11.3

Tensile strength of gravity die cast test bars (Diez die) in Al Si10Mg alloy
Tensile strength Rm [MPa] 360 320 280 240 200 160 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

Ageing time [h] 160 °C 180 °C 200 °C As-cast state

Aluminium Casting Alloys 41

Ageing The procedure of ageing brings about the decisive increase in hardness and strength of the cast structure through the precipitation of the very small hardening phases. Only after this does the part have its definitive service properties and its external shape and dimensions. Common alloys mostly undergo artificial ageing. The ageing temperatures and times can be varied as required. In this

way, for example, the mechanical properties can be adjusted specifically to attain high hardness or strength although, in doing this, relatively lower elongation must be reckoned with. Conversely, high elongation can be also achieved while lower strength and hardness values will be the result. When selecting the ageing temperatures and times, it is best to refer to the ageing curves which have been worked out for many casting alloys (Figures 11.1-11.4).

In Al SiMg casting alloys, a further possibility of specifically adjusting strength and elongation arises from varying the Mg content in combination with different heat treatment parameters (Figure 12).

Figure 11.4

Figure 12

Brinell hardness of gravity die cast test bars (Diez die) in Al Si10Mg alloy
Brinell hardness [HB] 160

Influence of Magnesium on the tensile strength (Diez bars)
Tensile strength Rm [MPa] 300 Alloy Al Si7 auf 99.9 base + 200 ppm Sr + 1 kg/mt Al Ti3B1 n=5

140 250 120 200 100 150 80 100 60 50 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 0 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6

Ageing time [h] 160 °C 180 °C 200 °C As-cast state

Magnesium [%] 8 h to 525 °C, H2O +6 h to 160 °C 8 h to 525 °C, H2O As-cast state

42 Aluminium Casting Alloys

If the heat treatment does not work first time, it can be repeated beginning with solution annealing. By doubling the solution time, a coarsening of the eutectic silicon can arise in the grain structure. Since the solution treatment is performed close to the alloy‘s melting temperature and the precipitation rate is highly sensitive to variations in ageing temperature, it is essential that a high degree of consistency and control is assured.

Regular maintenance, especially of the measuring and control equipment, is therefore absolutely essential. For slightly higher hardness or strength requirements, there is the non-standard possibility of “simplified age-hardening”. This can be used in gravity die casting and pressure die casting when agehardenable alloys are being poured. Decisive here is a further rapid cooling after ejection from the die, e.g. by immediately immersing the part in a bath

of water. Artificial ageing in a furnace at approx. 170 °C brings about the desired increase in hardness and strength. The procedure used in artificial ageing as well as typical temperatures and times are shown in Table 5.

Table 5

Procedures used in artificial ageing 1)
Casting type Example Solution heat treatment Temperature Time [°C] [h] 530 480 550 530* 4 - 10 6 - 10 4 - 10 8 - 18 Age-hardening Temperature Time [°C] [h] 160 - 170 155 - 165 155 - 175 140 - 170 6 - 8 6 - 2 8 - 0 6 - 8

Al SiMg Al SiCu Al MgSi Al CuMg

Al Si10Mg Al Si9Cu3 Al Mg3Si

1) Typical temperature and time values * Poss. gradual annealing at approx. 480 °C / approx. 6 h

Aluminium Casting Alloys 43

Mechanical machining of aluminium castings

In general, parts made from aluminium casting alloys are easy-machinable. This also applies for all metal-cutting processes. Low cutting force allows a high volume of metal to be removed. The surface finish of the cast piece depends on the machining conditions, such as cutting speed, cutting geometry, lubrication and cooling. The high cutting speeds required in aluminium to achieve minimum roughness necessitate, with regard to processing machines and tools, stable, vibrationfree construction and good cutting tools. Besides the microstructure – including defects, pores or inclusions – the silicon content of the casting has a strong effect on tool wear. Modified, hypoeutectic AlSi casting alloys have, e.g. the highest tool time, while hypereutectic aluminiumsilicon piston casting alloys can cause very considerable tool wear.

With softer materials and also with most hypoeutectic AlSi casting alloys, narrow tools, i.e. with a large rake angle, cause the least possible surface roughness. These casting alloys produce narrowspiral or short-breaking turnings. When machining aluminium, suitable emulsions with water are used as cooling agents and lubricants. Friable and chips and fine to powdery Si dust arise when machining hypereutectic casting alloys. In combination with the lubricant, this powder produces an abradant which is often processed when dry. In some respects, the machining of these casting alloy types is similar to grey cast iron. With workpieces made from Al Si12 casting alloys with their very soft matrix, a large volume of long curly spirals are produced. In addition, the plastic material tends to build up edges on the tool. This leads to lubrication and, as a result, a poor surface appearance. When this occurs, it often gives the machinist the subjective impression of bad machinability although tool wear is not the cause in this case.

High-speed steel and hard metal or ceramic plates are used as cutting tool materials; for microfinishing, diamonds are often utilised. The following machining allowances are given for the main casting processes: • • • sand castings: 1.5-3 mm gravity die castings: 0.7-1.5 mm pressure die castings: 0.3-0.5 mm.

In order to minimise value losses, turnings and chips should be sorted out according to casting alloy type and stored possibly in briquettes. In addition, dampness, grease and free iron reduce the value of chips and turnings. Aluminium chips and turnings are not hazardous materials and there is no risk of fire during storage. When grinding aluminium parts, explosionproof separation of the dust is stipulated.

44 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Welding and joining aluminium castings

Suitability and behaviour Similar to most wrought aluminium alloys, castings made from aluminium casting alloys can, in principle, also be joined by means of fusion welding. Near-eutectic and hypoeutectic aluminium-silicon casting alloys are the best to weld. Poor to unweldable are parts made from Al Cu4Ti alloys types since the Cu-content can cause the casting alloy to crack during welding. In AlMg casting alloys, the tendency to tearing must be counteracted by selecting a suitable weld filler.

The production welding sector should not be underestimated, e.g. for repairing defects in castings. Besides casting defects, there is also the possibility of correcting dimensional discrepancies, removing wear by build-up welding and repairing broken components.

using argon. The process is suitable for both manual welding and for fullymechanised and automatic welding. In fully-mechanised and automatic welding, both the power source and burner are water-cooled. With the wire electrode acting as the positive pole, the energy density is so high that it is able to break open the tenacious and high-melting

Welding processes The most frequently used fusion welding processes for joining castings are metallic-insert-gas welding (MIG welding) and Tungsten-inert-gas welding (TIG welding).

oxide layer by means of local, explosive metal vaporisation underneath the oxide. With appropriate heat conduction, it is possible to achieve a relatively narrow heat-affected zone with satisfactory strength and elongation values. A further development of MIG welding is represented by MIG pulse welding. Here,

Applications in the aluminium sector Although near net shape casting gives the designer the greatest possible freedom in the design of castings, welding is becoming increasingly important for the joining of aluminium cast components, either for welding two or more easy-tocast parts (e.g. half shells) – whereas they would be difficult to cast as one – to form hollow bodies on the one hand or for joining extruded sections or sheet to castings to give a subassembly on the other, such as the case in vehicle construction, lamp posts, lamp fittings and heat exchangers. In MIG welding, an inert-gas arc welding process, a continuous arc burns between a melting wire electrode and the workpiece. The process works with direct current, the wire electrode acting as the positive pole. The process is carried out under an inert gas in order to protect the melt area from the hazardous influences of the oxygen contained in air and moisture. Argon and/or helium, both inert gases, are used as shielding gases. Normally, it is cheaper to weld Metal inert-gas welding (MIG welding)

the welding current alternates between a so-called pulsed current and background current. Using this process, it is possible to carry out difficult tasks, i.e. thin wall thicknesses (1 mm) and out-of-position work (overhead). Today, MIG welding is the most frequently used aluminium welding process because, in addition to its easy manipulation, the investment and running costs are favourable.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 45

Tungsten-insert-gas welding (TIG welding) In TIG welding, an inert-gas shielded arc welding process, an arc burns continuously between a non-consumable electrode made of a tungsten alloy and the casting. Alternating current is normally used when welding aluminium. The welding filler is fed in separately from outside either by hand or mechanically. The process is carried out under an inert gas in order to protect the melt area from the hazardous influences of the oxygen contained in air and moisture. Argon and/or helium, both inert gases, are used as shielding gases. Welding is usually carried out with alternating current and argon which is cheaper. This is primarily a manual welding process but there is a possibility to work with a full degree of mechanisation. In TIG welding, the power source and the burner are both water-cooled. By using alternating current, the tenacious and high-melting oxide layer is broken open during welding, similar to the MIG process. Welding normal diameter material with direct current and a reverse-polarity tungsten electrode would lead to destruction due to electric overload. The electrode diameter, however, can not be increased since the current density required for welding is no longer sufficient.

In one process variant, which has an electrode with negative polarity as in the welding of steel, welding is carried out using direct current under a helium shield. Compared with argon, helium displays better thermal conductivity so that less current is required to break open the oxide layer. Consequently, the electrode is not overloaded. In TIG welding, there are also process variants which work with the pulsed-current technique. With regard to freedom from porosity, the cleanest seams can be achieved using TIG welding. One disadvantage of the TIG welding process, however, is the high local energy input. This leads to considerable softening of the zone adjacent to the weld which is also the case with MIG welding. TIG welding, for example, is an excellent process for the repair of small casting defects. Compared with the MIG process, however, TIG welding operates at lower speeds.

Other thermal joining processes The group of so-called “pressure welding processes” also includes friction stear welding (FSW) which is frequently used for welding aluminium castings. Since this welding process works without any filler material, it is possible to join materials together which are not fusion-weldable since they would form brittle inter-metallic phases. By means of friction welding, aluminium and steel, for example, can be joined together. The principle behind the process is to heat the workpieces up to a pasty condition followed by subjecting them to strong compression. A weld upset is thus developed and, if necessary, subsequently machined. The heating is done by rotating one or both parts and finally pressing them against each other until they stop moving. It even allows workpieces of circular and square cross-sections to be joined together. As a result of the rotary movement and in order to keep the compression load from increasing too much, a certain crosssectional area may not be exceeded. Another welding process is represented by electron beam welding. Particular interest is being shown in this process at the moment for the welding of aluminium pressure die castings.

46 Aluminium Casting Alloys

The process operates mostly under high vacuum. There are also process variants which work under partial vacuum and atmosphere although in these the advantages of this welding process, namely the production of narrower seams even with thick workpieces, are extensively lost. The welding of workpieces takes place without filler material. The welding energy is imparted by means of a bundled electron beam which is directed at the welding point. The electron beams are generated like those of a cathode ray tube (television) in a high vacuum. Using electron-optical focussing, different distances to the workpiece can be had with this equipment, even when the workpiece has undulating contours. Welding inside closed containers is possible.

Weld preparation To produce a sound weld, it is necessary to observe certain “rules”. Weld preparation must match the welding process being used and the wall thicknesses to be joined. Excessive oxide formation is worked off by metal-cutting. When grinding, resin-bonded grinding discs may not be used (danger of pore formation). Another possible way of removing oxides is to etch the component. Grease and dirt in the welding area have to be removed using suitable means (danger of pore formation). Components with greater wall thicknesses to be joined should be pre-heated before welding.

A great danger in welding is the tendency of many materials to form cracks during the transition from liquid to solid state. The cause of these cracks is weld shrinkage stresses which occur during cooling. Often the low melting point phases of the weld filler materials are insufficient to “heal” the cracks arising. Through the selection of a softer weld filler material with a larger share of low melting point phases, this danger is reduced. In doing this, however, the optimum strength properties in the weld seam must be frequently foregone. The decorative anodisation of a welded joint with the aforementioned filler materials is not possible because the weld seam would appear dark. Technical anodic oxidation for protective and adhesive

Weld filler materials In addition to difficult-to-weld pressure die castings, e.g. inlet manifolds, this process has been successfully used with cast semi-finished products in heat exchangers and in the welding of pistons for internal combustion engines. Weld filler materials are standardised. The selection of weld filler materials is guided by the materials of the parts to be joined. For the most commonly used aluminium materials, such as near- and hypoeutectic AlSi casting alloys as well as age-hardenable Al Si10Mg and Al Si5Mg variants, S-Al Si12 and S-Al Si5 weld filler materials are recommended.

purposes is, however, always possible.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 47

Surface treatment: corrosion and corrosion protection

Aluminium casting alloys – like wrought aluminium alloys – owe their corrosion resistance to a thin, tenacious coating layer of oxides and hydroxides. In the pH range from 4.5 to 8.5, this oxide layer is practically insoluble in aqueous media and aluminium casting materials suffer only negligible mass disappearance. This passivity can, however, be annulled locally at weak points in the oxide layer due to the action of water containing chloride. Since the aqueous medium, e.g. weather, only acts periodically, a protective oxide layer forms again at small, local corrosion sites, e.g. repassivation occurs. Deep pitting corrosion can only arise when there is a long-term effect from aggressive water containing chloride (e.g. sea water). Beside the chloride content, the amount of oxygen in the water also plays a role; corrosion reaction can only occur in neutral media (pH = 4.5-8.5) in the presence of oxygen. The remedy for this can come in the form of passive protection by coating or by means of active cathodic corrosion protection using a sacrificial anode, for example. Magnesium as an alloying element causes the formation of a thicker oxide layer containing MgO and, consequently, provides greater corrosion protection against water containing chlorides and

slightly alkaline media (e.g. ammonia solutions) since magnesium oxide in contrast to aluminium oxide is insoluble in alkaline solutions. Copper as an alloying element causes a deterioration in corrosion properties. This increases slightly with a rising Cucontent in the range below 0.2 % copper, above 0.2 to 0.4 % more strongly. Already with a Cu-content of 0.2 %, permanent action from aqueous solutions containing chlorine can have a very negative effect on corrosion behaviour. The negative influence of iron on corrosion behaviour is not as distinctive as that of copper. With an Fe-content of up to 0.6 %, there is no significant deterioration in the corrosion behaviour of casting alloys. The surface treatment of aluminium cast products is carried out to improve their corrosion resistance, for decorative purposes or to increase the strength of the components. A homogeneous, non-porous cast structure free from shrink holes and cracks makes coating easier. The quality of the coating is influenced decisively by the pre-treatment. Wiping, immersion and steam degreasing (in that order) produce increasingly grease-free surfaces without removing the surface oxide film. Grinding, brushing, abrasive blasting or polishing do not

remove the oxide film completely and, as a rule, act as a preparation to further surface treatment. Possible sources of defects leading to subsequent faults comprise the use of brushes made of brass or non-stainless steel as well as sand or steel shot. When grinding, the use of ceramic grinding elements without further pretreatment frequently leads to good paint adhesion. One precondition is that no fines from the grinding elements are pressed into the surface of the casting. Chemical degreasing agents with a pickling or etching effect remove the oxide layer and, as a consequence, all impurities. It is also worth mentioning that there is also matt or bright pickling before anodic oxidation to produce a special surface finish. Following the alkaline pickling of AlMg or AlSi casting alloys, the pickling film must be removed by means of an acid after-treatment with nitric acid, nitric/ hydrofluoric acid or sulphuric/hydrofluoric acid. Instead of alkaline pickling with final dipping, it is more beneficial to use an acidic fluoride-containing pickling solution immediately.

48 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Despite careful acid cleaning, a lacquered aluminium surface can still display adhesive failure after a certain time due to environmental effects. Firstly, a conversion layer, which forms as a result of the reaction between chemicals containing chrome and the metal, passivates the aluminium surface and protects it from the water diffused by each layer of lacquer. With respect to the promotion of adhesion and corrosion inhibition, the almost equivalent green and yellow chromate coatings have proved their worth over many years. A clear chromate coating, preferably used under clear lacquer, offers slightly less corrosion protection due to the layer being thinner. Cr-VI-free chromate-phosphate coatings meet the requirements of food processing and distribution laws and are permitted for the pre-treatment of aluminium which is used in food production, processing and packaging. A chrome-free epoxy primer should be mentioned as a possible but also qualitatively less favourable alternative. A precondition for the effectiveness of this alternate process, however, is also the removal of the aluminium oxide layer by chemical or mechanical means.

Of the unlimited number of application techniques used for volume lacquering, electrostatic powder coating, whirl sintering and electrophoretic dip coating are to be stressed in particular because of their environmental soundness, in addition to the dip coating and spraying (air, airless and electrostatic) of wet paint containing solvents. With the aid of anodic oxidation, the finish achieved using mechanical or chemical surface treatment can be conserved permanently. These anodically produced oxide layers are connected solidly to the aluminium and, in contrast to lacquering, the surface structure of the original metal is unchanged. This can prove disadvantageous, especially in pressure die casting. In today‘s widely-used sulphuric acid anodising process, the anodically-formed oxide layers become resistant to touch (e.g. finger marking) and abrasion resistant after sealing in hot water and possess good electric strength. The appearance of anodically-oxidised aluminium castings is considerably influenced by the alloy composition and the microstructural condition. For decorative purposes, Al Mg3H, Al Mg3, Al Mg3Si, Al Mg5, Al Mg5Si and Al 99.5 and/or Al 99.7 casting alloys have proved their worth. A decorative anodic oxidation of alloys with an Si-content > 1 % is not possible (with the exception of Al Si2MgTi).

The possibility of producing coloured oxide layers also exists by means of dip painting, electrolytic colouring and integral colouring in special electrolytes (integral process). For surfaces which have to meet particular requirements with regard to hardness, resistance to abrasion and wear, sliding capacity and electric strength, the special possibility of using hard anodising should be taken into consideration.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 49

Information on physical data, strength properties and strength calculations

The SI unit for force is the Newton (N). Strength, or proof stress, is expressed in “MPa” (Mega Pascal). The Brinell hardness of aluminium parts is excluded from this regulation. For the tensile strength, 0.2 proof stress, elongation and Brinell hardness of castings, DIN EN 1706 contains only binding minimum values at room temperature for separately-cast test bars using sand casting, gravity die casting and investment casting. The mechanical values for pressure die cast samples are not binding and are included only for information. The values for fatigue strength or endurance are valid for the best available casting process and again are only for information. For samples taken from the casting, DIN EN 1706 sets out the following: with respect to the 0.2 proof stress and tensile strength, the values reached in castings can be above the set values in the tables (for separatelycast test pieces) but not below 70 % of these set values. With regard to elongation, the values determined for the castings can be above the set values in the tables (for separately-cast test pieces) or at certain critical points up to 50 % below these values. Individual details about the mechanical, physical and other properties as well as the approximate working figures can be taken from the casting alloy sheets.

The actual values reached in the casting depend on the casting/technical measures taken, the solidification speed and also, where applicable, the heat treatment. When the end product has to meet special requirements, an appropriate casting alloy is required which, correspondingly, also incurs higher casting/ technical expenses. A few details for calculating the strength of constructions which are subjected to static stress are given below. With dynamic stress, lower values are estimated. • • • Surface pressure: p = approx. 0.8 Rp0,2 [MPa] Shear strength: B = approx. 0.5 Rp0,2 [MPa] Modulus of elasticity in shear: G = approx. 0.4 modulus of elasticity [GPa] • Modulus of elasticity: E = approx. 70 GPa

Strength at varying temperatures At low temperatures, the strength and elongation values of aluminium parts scarcely change. Due to the crystal structure of aluminium alloys, no sharp decrease in impact ductility can occur at low temperatures – as can happen with some ferrous metals. At higher temperatures, the strength and hardness values decrease while elongation increases. Up to approx. +150 °C, these changes are relatively small. With further increases in temperature, strength and hardness decrease even more and elongation rises. Table 6 depicts the 0.2 proof stress values for gravity die cast samples at various test temperatures.

Table 6

Yield strength of gravity die cast samples
Alloy / Temper Yield strength Rp0,2 [MPa] -100 °C Al Mg3Si Silumin Al Si12Cu Al Si8Cu3 Silumin-Kappa Al Mg5Si Al Si18CuNiMg Al Si12CuNiMg Al Si10MgCu Pantal 7 Silumin-Beta Pantal 5 T6 F F F F T6 F F T6 T6 T6 T6 160 120 110 120 90 130 180 200 220 215 220 220 +20 °C 150 80 90 100 80 120 170 190 200 210 210 210 +100 °C 140 60 80 90 70 110 150 170 170 180 200 200 +200 °C 60 40 35 50 50 100 100 100 80 80 80 80 +250 °C 30 30 30 25 30 70 80 70 35 30 30 30

50 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Notes on the casting alloy tables

The following tables contain all standardised casting alloys in accordance with DIN EN 1676 as well as other common non-standardised alloys with details of their chemical composition. Provided that deviations are envisaged for castings, the corresponding details (in conformity with DIN EN 1706) are shown in brackets. Where available, the well-known and very commonly used VDS numbers (e.g. 231, 226 etc.) are given in these lists.

The following designation abbreviations are used in DIN EN 1676: A B Aluminium Ingots (solid or liquid metal)

Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%) Casting characteristics and other properties

In DIN EN 1706, the following abbreviations refer to product designations: A C Aluminium casting alloy Casting Mechanical properties at room temperature +20 °C Heat treatment of aluminium castings Mechanical properties of gravity die cast samples Processing guidelines In DIN EN 1706, the following symbols apply for material conditions: F O T1 T4 T5 T6 as cast annealed controlled cooling from casting and naturally aged solution heat-treated and naturally aged where applicable controlled cooling from casting and artificially aged or over-aged solution heat-treated and fully artificially aged T64 solution heat-treated and artificially under-aged T7 solution heat-treated and artificially over-aged (stabilised) Physical properties

The following abbreviations are used The aluminium casting alloys are arranged into seven families according to their typical casting and alloying similarities. The data, properties, rankings and standard values of the casting alloys, or the castings subsequently made from them, have been taken from DIN EN 1676 and 1706 or are based on these standards in the case of non-standardised alloys. The details are included for information only and do not represent any guarantees. Thermal and electrical conductivity are dependent on the chemical composition within the given specification, solidification conditions and temper. In order to produce a casting with high conductivity, it is necessary to keep the content of alloying and accompanying elements low within the specification. for the various casting processes: S K D L Sand casting Gravity die casting Pressure die casting Precision casting

Aluminium Casting Alloys 51

Overview: Aluminium casting alloys by alloy group

Eutectic aluminium-silicon casting alloys Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) / VDS-No. Silumin Al Si12(a) min max min max Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

12.5 13.5 10.5 13.5

0.15 0.40 (0.55)

0.02 0.03 (0.05)

0.05 0.35

0.05

0.07 0.10

0.15 0.15

0.03 0.05

0.10 0.15

Na Na

44200 / 230 Al Si12(b) min max 10.5 13.5 0.55 0.10 (0.65) 0.55 (0.15) 0.10 0.10 0.15 0.10 0.15 (0.20) 0.05 0.15

44100 Al Si12(Fe)(a) min max 10.5 13.5 0.45 0.9 (1.0) 0.45 0.9 (1.0) 0.08 (0.10) 0.55 0.15 0.15 0.05 0.25

44300 / 230D Al Si12(Fe)(b) min max 10.0 13.5 0.18 (0.20) 0.55 0.40 0.30 0.15 0.05 0.25

44500 Al Si12(Cu) min max 10.5 13.5 0.7 (0.8) 0.6 1.1 (1.3) 0.9 (1.0) 0.7 1.2 0.05 0.55 0.35 0.10 0.30 0.55 0.20 0.10 0.15 (0.20) 0.05 0.25

47000 / 231 Al Si12Cu1(Fe) min max 10.5 13.5 0.55 0.35 0.10 0.30 0.55 0.20 0.10 0.15 (0.20) 0.05 0.25

47100 / 231D Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010

Near-eutectic wheel casting alloys Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) Silumin-Kappa Sr Silumin-Beta Sr Al Si11 min max min max min max Other indiv. total Others 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.10 0.10 0.10 Sr Sr Sr

Si 10.5 11.0 9.0 10.5 10.0 11.8

Fe 0.15 0.15 0.15 (0.19)

Cu 0.02 0.02 0.03 (0.05)

Mn 0.10 0.10 0.10

Mg 0.05 0.25 0.20 0.45 0.45

Cr

Ni

Zn 0.07 0.07 0.07

Pb

Sn

Ti 0.15 0.15 0.15

44000 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010

52 Aluminium Casting Alloys

The 10 per cent aluminium-silicon casting alloys Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) / VDS-No. Silumin-Beta / Al Si9Mg min max Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

9.0 10.0 0.15 (0.19) 0.03 (0.05) 0.10

0.30 (0.25) 0.45 (0.45)

0.07

0.15

0.03

0.10

Na

43300 Al Si10Mg(a) min max 43000 / 239 Al Si10Mg(b) min max 43100 Al Si10Mg(Fe) min max 43400 / 239D Al Si10Mg(Cu) min max 43200 / 233 Al Si9 min max 8.0 11.0 0.55 (0.65) 0.3 0.4 0.15 0.08 (0.10) 0.50 0.10 0.05 0.15 0.05 0.05 0.15 0.05 0.15 9.0 11.0 0.55 (0.65) 0.30 (0.35) 0.55 0.25 (0.20) 0.45 (0.45) 9.0 11.0 0.45 0.9 (1.0) 0.08 (0.10) 0.55 0.25 (0.20) 0.50 (0.50) 9.0 11.0 0.45 (0.55) 0.08 (0.10) 0.45 0.25 (0.20) 0.45 (0.45) 9.0 11.0 0.40 (0.55) 0.03 (0.05) 0.45 0.25 (0.20) 0.45 (0.45)

0.05

0.10

0.05

0.05

0.15

0.05

0.15

Na

0.05

0.10

0.05

0.05

0.15

0.05

0.15

0.15

0.15

0.15

0.05

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15

0.15

0.35

0.10

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15

44400 Silumin-Delta Silumin-Gamma Al Si10MnMg min max min max min max 43500 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010 9.0 10.5 9.0 11.3 9.0 11.5 0.20 (0.25) 0.03 (0.05) 0.02 0.02 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.9 0.40 0.80 0.03 0.15 0.6 0.15 (0.10) 0.60 (0.60) 0.07 0.10 0.15 0.15 0.03 0.03 0.10 0.10 Sr

0.07

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15

Sr

Aluminium Casting Alloys 53

Overview: Aluminium casting alloys by alloy group

The 7 und 5 per cent aluminium-silicon casting alloys Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) / VDS-No. Pantal 7 / Al Si7Mg0.3 min max 42100 Al Si7Mg0.6 min max 42200 Al Si7Mg min max 42000 Pantal 5 Al Si5Mg - / 235 Al Si5Cu1Mg min max 45300 Al Si7Cu0.5Mg min max 45500 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010 6.5 7.5 0.25 0.2 0.7 0.15 0.25 (0.20) 0.45 (0.45) 4.5 5.5 0.55 (0.65) 1.0 1.5 0.55 0.40 (0.35) 0.65 (0.65) min max min max 5.0 6.0 5.0 6.0 0.15 0.3 0.02 0.03 0.10 0.4 0.40 0.80 0.40 0.80 0.07 0.10 0.05 0.20 0.05 0.20 0.03 0.05 0.10 0.15 6.5 7.5 0.45 (0.55) 0.15 (0.20) 0.35 0.25 (0.20) 0.65 (0.65) 6.5 7.5 0.15 (0.19) 0.03 (0.05) 0.10 0.50 (0.45) 0.70 (0.70) Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

6.5 7.5 0.15 (0.19) 0.03 (0.05) 0.10

0.30 (0.25) 0.45 (0.45)

0.07

0.18 (0.25)

0.03

0.10 Na / Sr

0.07

0.18 (0.25)

0.03

0.10

0.15

0.15

0.15

0.05

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.15

0.25

0.15

0.15

0.05

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.15

0.07

0.20

0.03

0.10

54 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Al SiCu casting alloys Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) / VDS-No. Al Si8Cu3 min max 46200 / 226 Al Si9Cu3(Fe) min max 46000 / 226D Al Si11Cu2(Fe) min max 10.0 12.0 0.45 1.0 (1.1) 1.5 2.5 0.55 0.30 0.15 0.45 1.7 0.25 0.15 0.20 (0.25) 0.05 0.25 8.0 11.0 0.6 1.1 (1.3) 2.0 4.0 0.55 0.15 (0.05) 0.55 (0.55) Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

7.5 9.5 0.7 (0.8)

2.0 3.5

0.15 0.65

0.15 (0.05) 0.55 (0.55)

0.35

1.2

0.25

0.15

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.25

0.15

0.55

1.2

0.35

0.15

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.25

46100 Al Si7Cu3Mg min max 46300 Al Si9Cu1Mg min max 46400 Al Si9Cu3(Fe)(Zn) min max 46500 / 226/3 Al Si7Cu2 min max 6.0 8.0 0.7 (0.8) 1.5 2.5 0.15 0.65 0.35 0.35 1.0 0.25 0.15 0.20 (0.25) 0.05 0.15 8.0 11.0 0.6 1.2 (1.3) 2.0 4.0 0.55 0.15 (0.05) 0.55 (0.55) 8.3 9.7 0.7 (0.8) 0.8 1.3 0.15 0.55 0.30 (0.25) 0.65 (0.65) 6.5 8.0 0.7 (0.8) 3.0 4.0 0.20 0.65 0.35 (0.30) 0.60 (0.60)

0.30

0.65

0.15

0.10

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.25

0.20

0.8

0.10

0.10

0.18 (0.20)

0.05

0.25

0.15

0.55

3.0

0.35

0.15

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.25

46600 Al Si6Cu4 min max 5.0 7.0 0.9 (1.0) 3.0 5.0 0.20 0.65 0.55 0.15 0.45 2.0 0.30 0.15 0.20 (0.25) 0.05 0.35

45000 / 225 Al Si5Cu3Mg min max 45100 Al Si5Cu3 min max 4.5 6.0 0.50 (0.60) 2.6 3.6 0.55 0.05 0.10 0.20 0.10 0.05 0.20 (0.25) 0.05 0.15 4.5 6.0 0.50 (0.60) 2.6 3.6 0.55 0.20 (0.15) 0.45 (0.45)

0.10

0.20

0.10

0.05

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.15

45400 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010

Aluminium Casting Alloys 55

Overview: Aluminium casting alloys by alloy group

AlMg casting alloys Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) / VDS-No. Al Mg3(H) Al Mg3 min max min max 51100 / 242 Al Mg3(Cu) - / 241 Al Mg3Si(H) Al Mg5 min max min max 51300 / 244 Al Mg5(Si) min max 51400 / 245 Al Mg9(H) Al Mg9 min max min max 51200 / 349 Al Mg5Si2Mn min max 51500 Al Si2MgTi min max 41000 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010 1.6 2.4 (0.60) 0.50 (0.10) 0.08 0.30 0.50 (0.65) 0.50 (0.45) 0.65 0.07 (0.05) 0.15 (0.20) 1.8 2.6 0.20 (0.25) 0.03 (0.05) 0.4 0.8 5.0 (4.7) 6.0 (6.0) 2.5 1.7 2.5 0.50 0.45 0.9 (1.0) 0.08 (0.10) 0.55 0.02 0.2 0.5 8.5 10.5 8.5 (8.0) 10.5 (10.5) 0.07 0.15 0.03 0.10 B/Be 1.3 (1.5) 0.45 (0.55) 0.03 (0.05) 0.45 4.8 (4.5) 6.5 (6.5) 0.35 (0.55) 0.45 (0.55) 0.05 (0.10) 0.45 0.9 1.3 0.15 0.02 0.40 2.7 3.2 4.8 (4.5) 6.5 (6.5) 0.07 0.15 0.03 0.10 B/Be min max 0.60 0.55 0.15 0.45 2.5 3.2 0.30 0.20 0.05 0.15 B/Be 0.45 (0.55) 0.40 (0.55) 0.03 (0.05) 0.45 Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

0.45

0.15

0.02

0.40

2.7 3.2 2.7 (2.5) 3.5 (3.5)

0.07

0.02

0.03

0.10 B/Be

0.10

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15 B/Be

0.10

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15 B/Be

0.10

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15 B/Be

0.10

0.25

0.10

0.10

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15 B/Be

0.07

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.15

0.05

0.10

0.05

0.05

0.05

0.15

56 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Casting alloys for special applications Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) / VDS-No. High-strength casting alloys Al Cu4Ti min max 21100 Al Cu4MgTI min max 21000 Al Cu4MnMg min max 21200 Al Cu4MgTiAg min max Al Cu5NiCoSbZr min max Piston casting alloys Al Si12CuNiMg min max 48000 / 260 Al Si18CuNiMg min max 17.0 19.0 0.3 0.8 1.3 0.10 0.8 1.3 0.8 1.3 0.10 0.15 0.05 0.15 P 10.5 13.5 0.6 (0.7) 0.8 1.5 0.35 0.9 (0.8) 1.5 (1.5) 0.7 1.3 0.35 0.20 (0.25) 0.05 0.15 P 0.20 0.30 0.05 0.10 4.0 5.2 4.5 5.2 0.01 0.50 0.1 0.3 0.10 0.15 0.35 1.3 1.7 0.10 0.05 0.5 0.35 0.15 0.30 0.05 0.15 0.03 Ag 0.4 0.10 1.0 **** 0.10 0.15 (0.20) 4.0 5.0 0.20 0.50 0.20 (0.15) 0.50 (0.50) 0.15 (0.20) 0.30 (0.35) 4.2 5.0 0.10 0.20 (0.15) 0.35 (0.35) 0.15 (0.15) 0.25 (0.30) 0.15 (0.18) 0.15 (0.19) 4.2 5.2 0.55 0.07 0.15 (0.15) 0.25 (0.30) Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

0.03

0.10

0.05

0.10

0.05

0.05

0.03

0.10

0.03 (0.05)

0.05 (0.10)

0.03

0.03

0.05 (0.10)

0.03

0.10

****) Co 0.10-0.40 Sb 0.10-0.30 Zr 0.10-0.30 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010

Continuation of the table on the next page.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 57

Overview: Aluminium casting alloys by alloy group

Casting alloys for special applications Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) Hyper eutectic casting alloys Al Si17Cu4Mg* Al Si17Cu4Mg** min max min max 48100 Self-hardening casting alloys Autodur Autodur (Fe)* Autodur (Fe)** min max min max min max 71100 Rotor-Aluminium Al 99.7E*** min max 0.07 0.20 0.01 0.005 0.02 0.004 0.04 Mn+Cr+ 0.03 V+Ti= 0.02 Mn+Cr+ 0.03 V+Ti= 0.030 B 0.04 8.5 9.5 8.5 9.5 7.5 9.5 0.27 (0.30) 0.08 (0.10) 0.15 0.15 0.40 0.02 0.02 0.05 0.30 0.3 0.5 0.3 0.5 0.25 (0.20) 0.5 (0.5) 9.5 10.5 9.5 10.5 9.0 10.5 0.15 0.05 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.03 0.03 0.10 0.10 16.0 18.0 16.0 18.0 1.0 (1.3) 0.3 4.0 5.0 4.0 5.0 0.50 0.15 0.5 0.65 0.45 (0.25) 0.65 (0.65) 0.10 0.10 0.20 0.05 0.15 P Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

0.3

1.5

0.15

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.25

Al 99.6E***

min max

0.10

0.30

0.01

0.007

0.02

0.005

0.04

B 0.04

*) Non-standardised version **) According to DIN EN 1706: 2010 ***) According to DIN EN 576 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010

58 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Eutectic aluminium-silicon casting alloys

Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) / VDS-No. Silumin Al Si12(a) min max min max Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

12.5 13.5 10.5 13.5

0.15 0.40 (0.55)

0.02 0.03 (0.05)

0.05 0.35

0.05

0.07 0.10

0.15 0.15

0.03 0.05

0.10 0.15

Na Na

44200 / 230 Al Si12(b) min max 10.5 13.5 0.55 0.10 (0.65) 0.55 (0.15) 0.10 0.10 0.15 0.10 0.15 (0.20) 0.05 0.15

44100 Al Si12(Fe)(a) min max 10.5 13.5 0.45 0.9 (1.0) 0.45 0.9 (1.0) 0.08 (0.10) 0.55 0.15 0.15 0.05 0.25

44300 / 230D Al Si12(Fe)(b) min max 10.0 13.5 0.18 (0.20) 0.55 0.40 0.30 0.15 0.05 0.25

44500 Al Si12(Cu) min max 10.5 13.5 0.7 (0.8) 0.6 1.1 (1.3) 0.9 (1.0) 0.7 1.2 0.05 0.55 0.35 0.10 0.30 0.55 0.20 0.10 0.15 (0.20) 0.05 0.25

47000 / 231 Al Si12Cu1(Fe) min max 10.5 13.5 0.55 0.35 0.10 0.30 0.55 0.20 0.10 0.15 (0.20) 0.05 0.25

47100 / 231D Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010

Aluminium Casting Alloys 59

Eutectic aluminium-silicon casting alloys

Casting characteristics and other properties of castings
Alloy Fluidity Thermal crack stability Pressure tightness As-cast state Ageability Corrosion resistance Decorative anodisation Weldability Polishability

Silumin Al Si12(a) Al Si12(b) Al Si12(Fe)(a) Al Si12(Fe)(b) Al Si12(Cu) Al Si12Cu1(Fe)

Physical properties
Alloy Density E-Modulus Thermal capacity at 100 °C J/gK 0.91 0.90 Solidification temperature °C ~ 577 ~ 577 Coefficient of thermal expansion 10-6/K 293 K - 373 K 21 20 20 2.68 75,000 0.90 ~ 577 20 20 2.70 2.70 75,000 75,000 0.89 0.89 ~ 577 ~ 577 20 20 Electrical conductivity MS/m 18 - 24 17 - 24 16 - 23 16 - 22 16 - 22 16 - 22 15 - 20 Thermal conductivity W/(m . k) 140 - 170 140 - 170 130 - 160 130 - 160 130 - 160 130 - 150 120 - 150

g/cm3 Silumin Al Si12(a) Al Si12(b) Al Si12(Fe)(a) Al Si12(Fe)(b) Al Si12(Cu) Al Si12Cu1(Fe) 2.68 2.68

MPa 75,000 75,000

60 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Mechanical properties at room temperature +20 °C
Alloy / Temper Casting method Tensile strength Rm Yield strength Rp0,2 Elongation A MPa min Silumin Al Si12(a) Al S12(b) Al Si12(Cu) Silium Al Si12(a) Al Si12(Cu) Al Si12(Fe)(a) Al Si 12(Fe)(b) Al Si12Cu1(Fe) F F F F F F F F F F Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting 150 150 150 150 170 170 170 MPa min 70 70 70 80 80 80 90 130 140 140 % min 6 5 4 1 7 6 2 1 1 1 min 45 50 50 50 45 55 55 60 60 70 60 - 90 60 - 90 60 - 90 60 - 90 60 - 90 60 - 90 60 - 90 60 - 90 Brinell hardness HB Fatigue resistance MPa

Pressure die casting 240 Pressure die casting 240 Pressure die casting 240

The values apply for separately-cast sample bars in sand and gravity die casting. Mechanical properties of pressure die casting samples are not binding and merely serve as information. The values representing vibration testing and/or fatigue strength apply for the best available casting process and merely serve as information.

Mechanical properties of gravity die casting samples 1)
Alloy / Temper Tensile strength Rm MPa Yield strength Rp0,2 MPa Elongation A % Brinell hardness HB

-100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C Silumin Al Si12(a) Al Si12(b) Al Si12(Cu) 220 220 220 180 180 180 190 150 150 150 170 110 110 110 110 120 120 120 80 80 80 100 60 60 60 80 40 40 40 35 6 2,5 2.5 8 3 3.4 1 10 4 10 3 12 10 10 8 50 50 50 50 50 50 55 45 45 45 45 35 35 35 25

1) Mechanical properties in minimum values / values after long-term maintenance of the respective temperature.

Typical process parameters
Alloy Casting temperature Sand Gravity casting die casting °C Silumin Al Si12(a) Al Si12(Fe)(a) Al Si12(Cu) Al Si12Cu1(Fe) 670 - 740 670 - 740 620 - 660 670 - 740 670 - 740 °C 670 - 740 670 - 740 620 - 660 1.0 - 1.2 0.5 - 0.8 0.4 - 0.6 Pressure die casting °C 620 - 660 Contraction allowance Sand Gravity casting die casting % 1.0 - 1.2 1.0 - 1.2 % 0.5 - 0.8 0.5 - 0.8 0.4 - 0.6 Pressure die casting %

Aluminium Casting Alloys 61

Eutectic aluminium-silicon casting alloys

Application notes Universal aluminium casting alloy with medium strength; in part, very good elongation and very good flow properties. Suitable for thin-walled, complicated, pressure-tight, vibration- and impactresistant constructions. Properties and processing From the range of AlSi casting alloys, this type of alloy containing 13 % silicon has the best fluidity. In some respects, the behaviour of the casting alloys in this range represents a special case. Some advice is provided below. In the case of free solidification, e.g. a dense, bevel-shaped surface, the socalled “hammer blow”, forms on the top of the ingot. This type of solidification is “shell-forming”, i.e. the crystallisation of the subsequent casting begins with the formation of a solid shell which then grows towards the middle of the cast wall. In this type of casting alloy, there are only two states, i.e. “solid” and “liquid”. Full solidification of a casting takes place at the eutectic temperature of approx. 577 °C). During the solidification process, the volume can contract by up to 7 %.

The shell thickness does not decrease. If the flow of liquid metal is interrupted in the middle wall region during feeding, a coarse cavity can evolve. (Additional notes also provided in the sections entitled “Influencing the microstructural formation of aluminium castings” and “Avoiding casting defects”.) This type of aluminium casting alloy can only be modified with sodium. Sodium modification is indicated for sand castings and gravity die castings if particular requirements are placed on elongation of the microstructure (see Figure 2). As a general rule, casting alloys for use in sand and gravity die casting are offered in a slightly modified version. Chemical resistance as well as resistance to weathering and a marine climate increase with the purity of the casting alloy used. A primary silicon casting alloy thus meets the highest requirements in a variety of fields of application, e.g. in the food industry or in shipbuilding. The elongation of the cast structure is significantly determined by the iron content and other impurities. The demand for high proof stress values in the casting often requires the use of primary casting alloys with the lowest possible content of iron and impurities.

Heat treatment In the case of sand and gravity die castings made from casting alloys low in Cu and Mg, a selective improvement in ductility can be achieved. This is effected by means of solution annealing at 520-530 °C with subsequent quenching in cold water. Comments The DIN EN 1676 and DIN EN 1706 standards allow a very wide range of major alloying elements – silicon from 10.5 to 13.5 %. The practical range for the silicon content is from 12.5 to 13.5 and, in a slightly hypoeutectic range of 10.5 to 11.2 %. However, these two alloys display entirely different solidification behaviour. The intermediate range, with approx. 11.5 to 12.5 % silicon, runs the risk of shrinkage cavities. Casting alloys in this critical range are not offered. Even a blend of these different yet similarsounding alloys is not recommended.

62 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Near-eutectic wheel casting alloys

Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) Silumin-Kappa Sr Silumin-Beta Sr Al Si11 min max min max min max Other indiv. total Others

Si 10.5 11.0 9.0 10.5 10.0 11.8

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg 0.05 0.25 0.20 0.45 0.45

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

0.15 0.15 0.15 (0.19)

0.02 0.02 0.03 (0.05)

0.10 0.10 0.10

0.07 0.07 0.07

0.15 0.15 0.15

0.03 0.03 0.03

0.10 0.10 0.10

Sr Sr Sr

44000 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010

Casting characteristics and other properties of castings
Alloy Fluidity Thermal crack stability Pressure tightness As-cast state Ageability Corrosion resistance Decorative anodisation Weldability Polishability

Silumin-Kappa Sr Silumin-Beta Sr Al Si11

Physical properties
Alloy Density E-Modulus Thermal capacity at 100 °C J/gK 0.91 0.91 0.91 Solidification temperature °C 600 - 555 600 - 550 600 - 550 Coefficient of thermal expansion 10-6/K 293 K - 373 K 21 21 21 Electrical conductivity MS/m 20 - 26 20 - 26 18 - 24 Thermal conductivity W/(m . k) 150 - 180 150 - 180 140 - 170

g/cm3 Silumin-Kappa Sr Silumin-Beta Sr Al Si11 2.68 2.68 2.68

MPa 74,000 74,000 74,000

Aluminium Casting Alloys 63

Near-eutectic wheel casting alloys

Mechanical properties at room temperature +20 °C
Alloy / Temper Casting method Tensile strength Rm Yield strength Rp0,2 Elongation A MPa min Silumin-Kappa Sr Silumin-Beta Sr F F T6 Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting 170 170 290 250 170 MPa min 80 90 210 180 80 % min 6 5 4 6 7 min 45 50 90 80 45 60 - 90 60 - 90 60 - 90 60 - 90 60 - 90 Brinell hardness HB Fatigue resistance MPa

T64 Gravity die casting Al Si11 F Gravity die casting

The values apply for separately-cast sample bars in sand and gravity die casting. Mechanical properties of pressure die casting samples are not binding and merely serve as information. The values representing vibration testing and/or fatigue strength apply for the best available casting process and merely serve as information.

Heat treatment of aluminium castings
Alloy / Temper Solution heat treatment temperature °C Silumin-Kappa Sr Silumin-Beta Sr T4 T4 520 - 535 520 - 535 Annealing time Water temperature for quenching °C 20 20 Ageing tempetarure °C 160 - 170 150 - 160 Ageing time

h 4 - 10 4 - 10

h 6 2 - 8 - 3

Mechanical properties of gravity die casting samples 1)
Alloy / Temper Tensile strength Rm MPa Yield strength Rp0,2 MPa Elongation A % Brinell hardness HB

-100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C Silumin-Kappa Sr Silumin-Beta Sr Al Si11 F T64 F 180 260 230 170 250 170 160 210 160 120 120 130 90 200 130 80 180 80 70 170 70 50 80 50 5 4,5 3 6 6 7 6 7 7 10 10 10 65 85 65 45 80 45 45 75 40 40 60 35

1) Mechanical properties in minimum values / values after long-term maintenance of the respective temperature.

Typical process parameters
Alloy Casting temperature Sand Gravity casting die casting °C Silumin-Kappa Sr Silumin-Beta Sr Al Si11 670 - 740 670 - 740 670 - 740 °C 670 - 740 670 - 740 670 - 740 Pressure die casting °C Contraction allowance Sand Gravity casting die casting % 1.0 - 1.2 1.0 - 1.2 1.0 - 1.2 % 0.5 - 0.8 0.5 - 0.8 0.5 - 0.8 Pressure die casting %

64 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Application notes These casting alloy types have been developed primarily for the casting of car wheels by means of low-pressure die casting processes.

ured by means of the elongation value, for example, plays a vital role. The level of the iron content and the level of the other additions are particularly important quantities for the ductility or elongation of the cast structure. On request, these casting alloys can have a magnesium content of between 0.05 and 0.45 %.

In the course of subsequent solidification, aluminium dendrites grow into the liquid melt. They form an interconnecting network whose intervening spaces are then filled with the highly-fluid AlSi eutectic which then solidifies. If feeding is incomplete or the highly-fluid eutectic is drawn to another place, defects such as sinks or microporosity occur. The solidification range is approx. 30 to 45 K. With this type of casting alloy, cleaning the melt can only be effected by means of inert gas or using a vacuum. Cleaning agents containing chlorine would remove strontium from the melt. In practice, the use of purging lances or impeller equipment have proven their worth.

Properties and processing These casting alloys have good fluidity; the grain structure displays very high ductility and good corrosion resistance. The casting alloy Silumin-Kappa has an optimum silicon content of 10.5 to 11.0 %. In Silumin-Beta, the silicon content ranges from 9.0 and 10.5 % silicon. As a rule, these casting alloys already undergo a long-lasting strontium modification (HV) during production of the ingots. The strontium addition is approx. 0.020 to 0.030 %. Normally, this smelter modification does not need to be repeated at the foundry. The modification of eutectic silicon, i.e. the formation of a modified microstructure, is a necessity since the ductility of the cast structure of the wheels produced from these casting alloys meas-

With an increasing Mg content, the alloys‘ strength can be improved slightly, their elongation decreases a little with the level of the Mg content, their machinability – with respect to chip formation, chip removal and surface appearance – is improved, the resistance of the casting to chemical attack increases, lacquer adherence, however, can be impaired by the magnesium content. Only some of the Silumin-Beta casting alloys are age-hardenable. The age hardening of wheels made from alloys of the SiluminKappa type is not recommended. It could cause partial embrittlement which would reduce the fatigue strength of the material. For wheels which have to be heat-treated, casting alloys of the Al Si7Mg (Pantal 7) type are recommended. The solidification characteristics of these casting alloys are hypoeutectic. During solidification, the transition is from pasty to mushy.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 65

The 10 per cent aluminium-silicon casting alloys

Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) / VDS-No. Silumin-Beta / Al Si9Mg min max Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

9.0 10.0 0.15 (0.19) 0.03 (0.05) 0.10

0.30 (0.25) 0.45 (0.45)

0.07

0.15

0.03

0.10

Na

43300 Al Si10Mg(a) min max 43000 / 239 Al Si10Mg(b) min max 43100 Al Si10Mg(Fe) min max 43400 / 239D Al Si10Mg(Cu) min max 43200 / 233 Al Si9 min max 8.0 11.0 0.55 (0.65) 0.3 0.4 0.15 0.08 (0.10) 0.50 0.10 0.05 0.15 0.05 0.05 0.15 0.05 0.15 9.0 11.0 0.55 (0.65) 0.30 (0.35) 0.55 0.25 (0.20) 0.45 (0.45) 9.0 11.0 0.45 0.9 (1.0) 0.08 (0.10) 0.55 0.25 (0.20) 0.50 (0.50) 9.0 11.0 0.45 (0.55) 0.08 (0.10) 0.45 0.25 (0.20) 0.45 (0.45) 9.0 11.0 0.40 (0.55) 0.03 (0.05) 0.45 0.25 (0.20) 0.45 (0.45)

0.05

0.10

0.05

0.05

0.15

0.05

0.15

Na

0.05

0.10

0.05

0.05

0.15

0.05

0.15

0.15

0.15

0.15

0.05

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15

0.15

0.35

0.10

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15

44400 Silumin-Delta Silumin-Gamma Al Si10MnMg min max min max min max 43500 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010 9.0 10.5 9.0 11.3 9.0 11.5 0.20 (0.25) 0.03 (0.05) 0.02 0.02 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.9 0.40 0.80 0.03 0.15 0.6 0.15 (0.10) 0.60 (0.60) 0.07 0.10 0.15 0.15 0.03 0.03 0.10 0.10 Sr

0.07

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15

Sr

66 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Casting characteristics and other properties of castings
Alloy Fluidity Thermal crack stability Pressure tightness As-cast state Ageability Corrosion resistance Decorative anodisation Weldability Polishability

Silumin-Beta / Al Si9Mg Al Si10Mg(a) Al Si10Mg(b) Al Si10Mg(Fe) Al Si10Mg(Cu) Al Si9 Silumin-Delta Silumin-Gamma Al Si10MnMg

Physical properties
Alloy Density E-Modulus Thermal capacity at 100 °C J/gK 0.91 0.91 0.91 0.91 0.91 0.91 0.91 0.91 Solidification temperature °C 600 - 555 600 - 550 600 - 550 600 - 550 600 - 550 605 - 570 605 - 570 610 - 560 Coefficient of thermal expansion 10-6/K 293 K - 373 K 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Electrical conductivity MS/m 20 - 26 19 - 25 18 - 25 16 - 21 16 - 24 16 - 22 18 - 26 20 - 26 19 - 25 Thermal conductivity W/(m . k) 150 - 180 150 - 170 140 - 170 130 - 150 130 - 170 130 - 150 130 - 170 140 - 180 140 - 170

g/cm3 Silumin-Beta / Al Si9Mg Al Si10Mg(a) Al Si10Mg(b) Al Si10Mg(Fe) Al Si10Mg(Cu) Al Si9 Silumin-Delta Silumin-Gamma Al Si10MnMg 2.68 2.68 2.68 2.68 2.68 2.69 2.69 2.68

MPa 74,000 74,000 74,000 74,000 74,000 74,000 74,000 74,000

Aluminium Casting Alloys 67

The 10 per cent aluminium-silicon casting alloys

Mechanical properties at room temperature +20 °C
Alloy / Temper Casting method Tensile strength Rm Yield strength Rp0,2 Elongation A MPa min Silumin-Beta / Al Si9Mg F T6 Al Si10Mg(a) F T6 Al Si10Mg(b) F T6 Al Si10Mg(Cu) F T6 Silumin-Beta / Al Si9Mg T6 Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Gravity die casting 150 230 150 220 150 220 160 220 290 250 180 260 240 180 260 240 180 240 MPa min 80 190 80 180 80 180 80 180 210 180 90 220 200 90 220 200 90 200 140 120 120 120 210 % min 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 4 6 2.5 1 2 2.5 1 2 1 1 1 2 4 5 7 min 50 75 50 75 50 75 50 75 90 80 55 90 80 55 90 80 55 80 70 55 55 70 100 80 - 110 80 - 110 60 60 60 80 90 90 90 90 80 - 110 80 - 110 80 - 110 80 - 110 80 - 110 80 - 110 Brinell hardness HB Fatigue resistance MPa

T64 Gravity die casting Al Si10Mg(a) F T6 Gravity die casting Gravity die casting

T64 Gravity die casting Al Si10Mg(b) F T6 Gravity die casting Gravity die casting

T64 Gravity die casting Al Si10Mg(Cu) F T6 Al Si10Mg(Fe) Al Si9 Silumin-Delta Silumin-Gamma F F F F T6 Gravity die casting Gravity die casting

Pressure die casting 240 Pressure die casting 220 Pressure die casting 220 Pressure die casting 240 Pressure die casting 290

The values apply for separately-cast sample bars in sand and gravity die casting. Mechanical properties of pressure die casting samples are not binding and merely serve as information. The values representing vibration testing and/or fatigue strength apply for the best available casting process and merely serve as information.

68 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Heat treatment of aluminium castings
Alloy / Temper Solution heat treatment temperature °C Silumin-Beta / Al Si9Mg T6 T64 Al Si10Mg(a) T6 T64 Al Si10Mg(b) T6 T64 Al Si10Mg(Cu) Silumin-Gamma T6 T6 T64 520 - 535 520 - 535 520 - 535 520 - 535 520 - 535 520 - 535 520 - 535 500 - 530 500 - 530 Annealing time Water temperature for quenching °C 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 Ageing tempetarure °C 160 - 170 150 - 160 160 - 170 150 - 160 160 - 170 150 - 160 160 - 170 150 - 170 180 - 340 Ageing time

h 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 4 8 8

h 6 2 6 2 6 2 6 2 2 8 3 8 3 8 3 8 6 6

Mechanical properties of gravity die casting samples 1)
Alloy / Temper Tensile strength Rm MPa Yield strength Rp0,2 MPa Elongation A % Brinell hardness HB

-100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C Silumin-Beta / Al Si9Mg Al Si10Mg(a) Al Si10Mg(Cu) T6 T6 T6 290 280 280 290 260 240 260 230 210 120 120 120 220 220 220 210 220 200 200 170 180 80 80 90 3.5 1 1 4 1 1 4 2 2 10 8 7 90 85 85 90 90 80 80 80 75 60 60 45

1) Mechanical properties in minimum values / values after long-term maintenance of the respective temperature.

Typical process parameters
Alloy Casting temperature Sand Gravity casting die casting °C Silumin-Beta / Al Si9Mg Al Si10Mg(a) Al Si10Mg(b) Al Si10Mg(Fe) Al Si10Mg(Cu) Al Si9 Silumin-Delta Silumin-Gamma 670 - 740 660 - 740 670 - 740 660 - 740 620 - 700 620 - 700 620 - 730 670 - 740 670 - 740 670 - 740 °C 670 - 740 670 - 740 670 - 740 620 - 660 1.0 - 1.2 0.5 - 0.8 0.5 - 0.8 0.4 - 0.6 0.4 - 0.6 0.4 - 0.6 Pressure die casting °C Contraction allowance Sand Gravity casting die casting % 1.0 - 1.2 1.0 - 1.2 1.0 - 1.2 % 0.5 - 0.8 0.5 - 0.8 0.5 - 0.8 0.4 - 0.6 Pressure die casting %

Aluminium Casting Alloys 69

The 10 per cent aluminium-silicon casting alloys

Application notes This important group of casting alloys is used for castings with medium wall thicknesses which require higher, to the highest strength properties. The fields of application comprise mechanical and electrical engineering, the food industry as well as in engine and motor vehicle construction. Silumin-Beta casting alloys are also used for car wheels. SiluminGamma is a heat-treatable high-pressure die casting alloy. However, successful treatment requires the use of an adequate casting process (e.g. vacuum-assisted high-pressure die casting).

Properties and processing The fluidities of these casting alloys are still good. Heat-treatable castings made from alloys containing magnesium display particularly good machinability. With increasing purity, the ductility of the cast structure also increases. Where the requirements on corrosion resistance are high, high-purity grades are selected. Sand and gravity die castings can be artificially aged. In doing so, however, ductility decreases. The solidification characteristics of this group of casting alloys are hypoeutectic. During the solidification process, aluminium dendrites grow into the melt first. The highly-fluid AlSi eutectic then penetrates the intervening spaces of the network and clamps the microstructural framework together. If the feeding of the remaining eutectic melt is hindered in any way, defects such as sinks or micro/macrocavities occur.

This causes porous areas and also leads to a weakening of the structural crosssection. During casting, therefore, attention must be paid to ensure good feeding and, as far as possible, controlled solidification. The solidification range amounts to approx. 45 K. Where requirements on elongation or ductility are higher, modification of the melt is recommended. The casting alloys for use in gravity die casting are modified with sodium or strontium. For sand casting, modification with sodium only is recommended. As a general rule, the casting alloys for sand and gravity die casting are offered in versions which can be easily modified.

70 Aluminium Casting Alloys

The 7 and 5 per cent aluminium-silicon casting alloys

Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) / VDS-No. Pantal 7 / Al Si7Mg0.3 min max 42100 Al Si7Mg0.6 min max 42200 Al Si7Mg min max 42000 Pantal 5 Al Si5Mg - / 235 Al Si5Cu1Mg min max 45300 Al Si7Cu0.5Mg min max 45500 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010 6.5 7.5 0.25 0.2 0.7 0.15 0.25 (0.20) 0.45 (0.45) 4.5 5.5 0.55 (0.65) 1.0 1.5 0.55 0.40 (0.35) 0.65 (0.65) min max min max 5.0 6.0 5.0 6.0 0.15 0.3 0.02 0.03 0.10 0.4 0.40 0.80 0.40 0.80 0.07 0.10 0.05 0.20 0.05 0.20 0.03 0.05 0.10 0.15 6.5 7.5 0.45 (0.55) 0.15 (0.20) 0.35 0.25 (0.20) 0.65 (0.65) 6.5 7.5 0.15 (0.19) 0.03 (0.05) 0.10 0.50 (0.45) 0.70 (0.70) Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

6.5 7.5 0.15 (0.19) 0.03 (0.05) 0.10

0.30 (0.25) 0.45 (0.45)

0.07

0.18 (0.25)

0.03

0.10 Na / Sr

0.07

0.18 (0.25)

0.03

0.10

0.15

0.15

0.15

0.05

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.15

0.25

0.15

0.15

0.05

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.15

0.07

0.20

0.03

0.10

Aluminium Casting Alloys 71

The 7 and 5 per cent aluminium-silicon casting alloys

Casting characteristics and other properties of castings
Alloy Fluidity Thermal crack stability Pressure tightness As-cast state Ageability Corrosion resistance Decorative anodisation Weldability Polishability

Pantal 7 / Al Si7Mg0.3 Al Si7Mg0.6 Al Si7Mg Pantal 5 Al Si5Mg Al Si5Cu1Mg Al Si7Cu0.5Mg

Physical properties
Alloy Density E-Modulus Thermal capacity at 100 °C J/gK 0.92 0.92 0.92 0.92 0.92 0.92 Solidification temperature °C 625 - 550 625 - 550 625 - 550 625 - 550 625 - 550 625 - 550 Coefficient of thermal expansion 10-6/K 293 K - 373 K 22 22 22 23 23 22 22 Electrical conductivity MS/m 21 - 27 20 - 26 19 - 25 21 - 29 21 - 26 19 - 23 16 - 22 Thermal conductivity W/(m . k) 160 - 180 150 - 180 150 - 170 150 - 180 150 - 180 140 - 150 150 - 165

g/cm3 Pantal 7 / Al Si7Mg0.3 Al Si7Mg0.6 Al Si7Mg Pantal 5 Al Si5Mg Al Si5Cu1Mg Al Si7Cu0.5Mg 2.66 2.66 2.66 2.67 2.67 2.67

MPa 73,000 73,000 73,000 72,000 72,000 72,000

72 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Mechanical properties at room temperature +20 °C
Alloy / Temper Casting method Tensile strength Rm Yield strength Rp0,2 Elongation A MPa min Pantal 7 / Al Si7Mg0.3 Al Si7Mg0.6 Al Si7Mg T6 T6 F T6 Pantal 5 T6 T4 Al Si5Mg T6 T4 Al Si5Cu1Mg T6 T4 Pantal 7 / Al Si7Mg0.3 T6 Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Gravity die casting 230 250 140 220 240 200 240 200 230 170 290 250 320 290 170 260 240 160 260 210 160 260 210 280 230 320 MPa min 190 210 80 180 220 150 220 150 200 120 210 180 240 210 90 220 200 120 240 160 120 240 160 210 140 240 % min 2 1 2 1 2 4 1 3 <1 2 4 8 3 6 2.5 1 2 2 2 5 2 2 4 <1 3 4 min 75 85 50 75 80 75 80 75 100 80 90 80 100 90 55 90 80 60 90 75 60 90 75 110 85 100 70 - 100 70 90 70 90 80 - 110 80 - 110 Brinell hardness HB Fatigue resistance MPa

T64 Gravity die casting Al Si7Mg0.6 T6 Gravity die casting

T64 Gravity die casting Al Si7Mg F T6 Al Si7Mg Pantal 5 Gravity die casting Gravity die casting

T64 Gravity die casting F T6 T4 Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting

Al Si5Mg

F T6 T4

Al Si5Cu1Mg

T6 T4

Al Si7Cu0.5Mg

T6

The values apply for separately-cast sample bars in sand and gravity die casting. Mechanical properties of pressure die casting samples are not binding and merely serve as information. The values representing vibration testing and/or fatigue strength apply for the best available casting process and merely serve as information.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 73

The 7 and 5 per cent aluminium-silicon casting alloys

Heat treatment of aluminium castings
Alloy / Temper Solution heat treatment temperature °C Pantal 5 T4 T6 Al Si5Mg T4 T6 Al Si5Cu1Mg T4 T6 Pantal 7 / Al Si7Mg0.3 T6 T64 Al Si7Mg0,6 T6 T64 Al Si7Mg T6 T64 520 - 535 520 - 535 520 - 535 520 - 535 520 - 535 520 - 535 520 - 545 520 - 545 520 - 545 520 - 545 520 - 545 520 - 545 Annealing time Water temperature for quenching °C 20 Ageing tempetarure °C 20 - 30 155 - 165 20 20 - 30 155 - 165 20 20 - 30 155 - 165 155 - 165 20 150 - 160 155 - 165 20 150 - 160 155 - 165 20 150 - 160 Ageing time

h 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10

h 120 6 - 10 120 6 - 10 120 6 - 10 6 - 10 2 5

6 - 10 2 5

6 - 10 2 5

Mechanical properties of gravity die casting samples 1)
Alloy / Temper Tensile strength Rm MPa Yield strength Rp0,2 MPa Elongation A % Brinell hardness HB

-100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C Pantal 7 / Al Si7Mg0.3 Pantal 5 Al Si5Mg T6 T6 T6 290 280 280 290 260 260 240 200 200 120 120 120 210 250 250 210 240 240 180 170 170 80 80 80 3 1 0.5 4 2 1 6 3 2 10 7 7 90 90 90 90 90 90 75 80 80 45 45 45

1) Mechanical properties in minimum values / values after long-term maintenance of the respective temperature.

Typical process parameters
Alloy Casting temperature Sand Gravity casting die casting °C Pantal 7 / Al Si7Mg0.3 Al Si7Mg0.6 Al Si7Mg Pantal 5 Al Si5Mg Al Si5Cu1Mg 680 - 750 680 - 750 680 - 750 690 - 760 690 - 760 690 - 760 °C 680 - 750 680 - 750 680 - 750 690 - 760 690 - 760 690 - 760 Pressure die casting °C Contraction allowance Sand Gravity casting die casting % 1.0 - 1.2 1.0 - 1.2 1.0 - 1.2 1.1 - 1.2 1.1 - 1.2 1.0 - 1.2 % 0.7 - 1.1 0.7 - 1.1 0.7 - 1.1 0.8 - 1.1 0.8 - 1.1 0.8 - 1.1 Pressure die casting %

74 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Application notes These casting alloys are used in the motor vehicle industry (chassis components, motor car and lorry wheels), for components in the aerospace industry, for parts in mechanical engineering, for hydraulic elements, in the food industry, in shipbuilding, for fittings and apparatus as well as for fire extinguisher components. Their use makes particular sense when the castings undergo age hardening. As a result of age hardening, these casting alloys are used in structures requiring high strength. In addition, the cast structure – particularly of primary casting alloys – still displays remarkable toughness and ductility. Resistance to chemical attack increases with purity and is very good in the case of primary casting alloys.

Properties and processing Owing to the low silicon content, fluidity is only moderate. Castings with very thin walls can not, therefore, be cast in these alloys. This group of casting alloys containing around 7 % silicon is in some respects an exception. Looking at a micrograph, it can be seen that the proportion by area of light matrix (i.e. the aluminium-rich solid solution) and the proportion by area or eutectic silicon (i.e. the dotted grey areas) each amount to approx. 50 %. Like in all hypoeutectic AlSi casting alloys, solidification takes place in phases. First of all, the dendritic network made up of aluminium-rich solid solution grows into the still liquid melt. The remaining highly-fluid eutectic melt infiltrates this sponge and locks the structure together like in a two-component composite. By means of age-hardening, the aluminium-rich solid solution in particular is strengthened while the connecting eutectic remains ductile. In this way, the ideal microstructure occurs, giving the highest possible strength with still acceptable elongation. The variable

magnesium content which ranges from 0.20 to 0.70 % gives the user the possibility of adjusting the elongation of the castings to the particular requirements. With a low magnesium content of around 0.25 %, relatively high elongation values can be achieved. Where greater hardness is required, casting alloys with a magnesium content of 0.70 % can be used. The group of casting alloys with approx. 5 % silicon displays many sequences and properties which are similar to the 7 per cent group. The solidification range is slightly greater, fluidity is slightly less. Due to the lower silicon content, the effect of the aluminium-rich solid solution dominates. The casting alloy variants with low copper content display the best possible corrosion-resistance behaviour of all aluminium-silicon casting alloys. Castings made from these alloys find application in such areas as the food industry, in domestic appliances or in parts for the food processing industry.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 75

Al SiCu casting alloys

Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) / VDS-No. Al Si8Cu3 min max 46200 / 226 Al Si9Cu3(Fe) min max 46000 / 226D Al Si11Cu2(Fe) min max 10.0 12.0 0.45 1.0 (1.1) 1.5 2.5 0.55 0.30 0.15 0.45 1.7 0.25 0.15 0.20 (0.25) 0.05 0.25 8.0 11.0 0.6 1.1 (1.3) 2.0 4.0 0.55 0.15 (0.05) 0.55 (0.55) Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

7.5 9.5 0.7 (0.8)

2.0 3.5

0.15 0.65

0.15 (0.05) 0.55 (0.55)

0.35

1.2

0.25

0.15

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.25

0.15

0.55

1.2

0.35

0.15

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.25

46100 Al Si7Cu3Mg min max 46300 Al Si9Cu1Mg min max 46400 Al Si9Cu3(Fe)(Zn) min max 46500 / 226/3 Al Si7Cu2 min max 6.0 8.0 0.7 (0.8) 1.5 2.5 0.15 0.65 0.35 0.35 1.0 0.25 0.15 0.20 (0.25) 0.05 0.15 8.0 11.0 0.6 1.2 (1.3) 2.0 4.0 0.55 0.15 (0.05) 0.55 (0.55) 8.3 9.7 0.7 (0.8) 0.8 1.3 0.15 0.55 0.30 (0.25) 0.65 (0.65) 6.5 8.0 0.7 (0.8) 3.0 4.0 0.20 0.65 0.35 (0.30) 0.60 (0.60)

0.30

0.65

0.15

0.10

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.25

0.20

0.8

0.10

0.10

0.18 (0.20)

0.05

0.25

0.15

0.55

3.0

0.35

0.15

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.25

46600 Al Si6Cu4 min max 5.0 7.0 0.9 (1.0) 3.0 5.0 0.20 0.65 0.55 0.15 0.45 2.0 0.30 0.15 0.20 (0.25) 0.05 0.35

45000 / 225 Al Si5Cu3Mg min max 45100 Al Si5Cu3 min max 4.5 6.0 0.50 (0.60) 2.6 3.6 0.55 0.05 0.10 0.20 0.10 0.05 0.20 (0.25) 0.05 0.15 4.5 6.0 0.50 (0.60) 2.6 3.6 0.55 0.20 (0.15) 0.45 (0.45)

0.10

0.20

0.10

0.05

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.15

45400 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010

76 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Casting characteristics and other properties of castings
Alloy Fluidity Thermal crack stability Pressure tightness As-cast state Ageability Corrosion resistance Decorative anodisation Weldability Polishability

Al Si8Cu3 Al Si9Cu3(Fe) Al Si11Cu2(Fe) Al Si7Cu3Mg Al Si9Cu1Mg Al Si9Cu3(Fe)(Zn) Al Si7Cu2 Al Si6Cu4 Al Si5Cu3Mg Al Si5Cu3

Physical properties
Alloy Density E-Modulus Thermal capacity at 100 °C J/gK 0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88 Solidification temperature °C 600 - 500 600 - 500 600 - 500 600 - 500 600 - 500 600 - 500 600 - 500 630 - 500 630 - 500 630 - 500 Coefficient of thermal expansion 10-6/K 293 K - 373 K 21 21 20 21 21 21 21 22 22 22 Electrical conductivity MS/m 14 - 18 13 - 17 14 - 18 14 - 17 16 - 22 13 - 17 15 - 19 14 - 17 16 - 19 16 - 19 Thermal conductivity W/(m . k) 110 - 130 110 - 120 120 - 130 110 - 120 130 - 150 110 - 120 120 - 130 110 - 120 130 120 - 130

g/cm3 Al Si8Cu3 Al Si9Cu3(Fe) Al Si11Cu2(Fe) Al Si7Cu3Mg Al Si9Cu1Mg Al Si9Cu3(Fe)(Zn) Al Si7Cu2 Al Si6Cu4 Al Si5Cu3Mg Al Si5Cu3 2.77 2.76 2.75 2.77 2.76 2.76 2.77 2.80 2.79 2.79

MPa 75,000 75,000 75,000 75,000 75,000 75,000 75,000 74,000 74,000 74,000

Aluminium Casting Alloys 77

Al SiCu casting alloys

Mechanical properties at room temperature +20 °C
Alloy / Temper Casting method Tensile strength Rm Yield strength Rp0,2 Elongation A MPa min Al Si8Cu3 Al Si7Cu3Mg Al Si9Cu1Mg Al Si7Cu2 Al Si6Cu4 Al Si5Cu3Mg F F F F F T4 T6 Al Si5Cu3 Al Si7Cu3Mg Al Si7Cu2 Al Si9Cu1Mg F F F F T6 Al Si5Cu3Mg F T6 Al Si6Cu4 F T4 Al Si8Cu3 Al Si11Cu2(Fe) F F Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting 150 180 135 150 150 140 230 170 180 170 170 275 270 320 170 230 MPa min 90 100 90 90 90 70 200 100 100 100 100 235 180 280 100 110 140 140 % min 1 1 1 1 1 1 <1 1 1 1 1 1.5 2.5 <1 1 6 1 <1 min 60 80 60 60 60 60 90 75 80 75 75 105 85 110 75 75 80 80 60 90 80 - 110 60 60 50 60 90 90 70 90 Brinell hardness HB Fatigue resistance MPa

70 - 100 60 60 90 90

Pressure die casting 240 Pressure die casting 240

The values apply for separately-cast sample bars in sand and gravity die casting. Mechanical properties of pressure die casting samples are not binding and merely serve as information. The values representing vibration testing and/or fatigue strength apply for the best available casting process and merely serve as information.

78 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Heat treatment of aluminium castings
Alloy / Temper Solution heat treatment temperature °C Al Si5Cu3Mg T4 T6 Al Si5Cu3 Al Si9Cu1Mg T4 T6 480 480 480 480 Annealing time Water temperature for quenching °C 20 20 20 20 60 60 Ageing tempetarure °C 20 - 30 160 20 - 30 160 Ageing time

h 6 - 10 6 - 10 6 - 10 6 - 10

h 120 6 - 12 120 6 - 12

Mechanical properties of gravity die casting samples 1)
Alloy / Temper Tensile strength Rm MPa Yield strength Rp0,2 MPa Elongation A % Brinell hardness HB

-100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C Al Si8Cu3 Al Si6Cu4 F F 170 170 160 160 120 130 80 100 100 100 90 90 50 60 25 30 1 1 1 1 2 1.5 5 4 75 75 65 65 45 50 35 40

1) Mechanical properties in minimum values / values after long-term maintenance of the respective temperature.

Typical process parameters
Alloy Casting temperature Sand Gravity casting die casting °C Al Si8Cu3 Al Si9Cu3(Fe) Al Si11Cu2(Fe) Al Si7Cu3Mg Al Si9Cu1Mg Al Si9Cu3(Fe)(Zn) Al Si7Cu2 Al Si6Cu4 Al Si5Cu3Mg Al Si5Cu3 680 - 750 690 - 750 690 - 750 690 - 750 680 - 750 690 - 750 690 - 750 690 - 750 640 - 690 680 - 750 680 - 750 680 - 750 680 - 750 630 - 680 1.0 - 1.2 1.0 - 1.2 1.0 - 1.2 1.0 - 1.2 0.6 - 1.0 0.6 - 1.0 0.6 - 1.0 0.6 - 1.0 0.4 - 0.6 680 - 750 °C 680 - 750 Pressure die casting °C 630 - 680 630 - 680 630 - 680 1.0 - 1.2 1.0 - 1.2 0.6 - 1.0 0.6 - 1.0 0.4 - 0.7 Contraction allowance Sand Gravity casting die casting % 1.0 - 1.2 % 0.6 - 1.0 Pressure die casting % 0.4 - 0.6 0.4 - 0.7 0.4 - 0.8

Aluminium Casting Alloys 79

Al SiCu casting alloys

Application notes The alloys in this group are among the most commonly used aluminium casting alloys around. They are regarded as universal casting alloys for the most important casting processes and are widely used in pressure die casting in particular. They are easily cast and are suitable for parts which are subjected to relatively high loads. They are heat resistant and, as such, are used for engine components and cylinder heads.

Properties and processing Aluminium casting alloys with approx. 6 to 8 % silicon, 3 to 4 % copper as well as 0.3 to 0.5 % magnesium have the optimum high-temperature strength. The cast structure hardens on its own within a week of casting. Afterwards, the mechanical machinability of the casting is very good. Age hardening is sometimes possible. Treatment of the melt: In sand castings or thick-walled gravity die castings, sodium modification is possible. Often, grain refinement is also carried out. The casting and solidification behaviour usually poses no problem. The type of solidification is hypoeutectic. During the transition from liquid to solid state, there is a wide solidification range of a pasty-mushy character. Attention must be paid to controlling the solidification and feeding of the metal. There is no distinctive tendency to hot cracking or draws.

Heat treatment With castings made from these casting alloys, age hardening is possible when the Cu and Mg content is appropriate. It is, however, seldom carried out. In these castings, due to the Cu content in connection with the Mg and Zn content, an independent structural hardening occurs. This process is complete within about a week. Only then should the castings be finished followed by checking the mechanical properties. To achieve thermal and dimensional stability in parts suitable for high-pressure applications, e.g. crankcases, cylinder heads or pistons, solution annealing with artificial ageing beyond the peak aged condition is suggested (T7). This process is also known as “stabilising” or “overageing”.

80 Aluminium Casting Alloys

AlMg casting alloys

Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) / VDS-No. Al Mg3(H) Al Mg3 min max min max 51100 / 242 Al Mg3(Cu) - / 241 Al Mg3Si(H) Al Mg5 min max min max 51300 / 244 Al Mg5(Si) min max 51400 / 245 Al Mg9(H) Al Mg9 min max min max 51200 / 349 Al Mg5Si2Mn min max 51500 Al Si2MgTi min max 41000 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010 1.6 2.4 (0.60) 0.50 (0.10) 0.08 0.30 0.50 (0.65) 0.50 (0.45) 0.65 0.07 (0.05) 0.15 (0.20) 1.8 2.6 0.20 (0.25) 0.03 (0.05) 0.4 0.8 5.0 (4.7) 6.0 (6.0) 2.5 1.7 2.5 0.50 0.45 0.9 (1.0) 0.08 (0.10) 0.55 0.02 0.2 0.5 8.5 10.5 8.5 (8.0) 10.5 (10.5) 0.07 0.15 0.03 0.10 B/Be 1.3 (1.5) 0.45 (0.55) 0.03 (0.05) 0.45 4.8 (4.5) 6.5 (6.5) 0.35 (0.55) 0.45 (0.55) 0.05 (0.10) 0.45 0.9 1.3 0.15 0.02 0.40 2.7 3.2 4.8 (4.5) 6.5 (6.5) 0.07 0.15 0.03 0.10 B/Be min max 0.60 0.55 0.15 0.45 2.5 3.2 0.30 0.20 0.05 0.15 B/Be 0.45 (0.55) 0.40 (0.55) 0.03 (0.05) 0.45 Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

0.45

0.15

0.02

0.40

2.7 3.2 2.7 (2.5) 3.5 (3.5)

0.07

0.02

0.03

0.10 B/Be

0.10

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15 B/Be

0.10

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15 B/Be

0.10

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15 B/Be

0.10

0.25

0.10

0.10

0.15 (0.20)

0.05

0.15 B/Be

0.07

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.15

0.05

0.10

0.05

0.05

0.05

0.15

Aluminium Casting Alloys 81

AlMg casting alloys

Casting characteristics and other properties of castings
Alloy Fluidity Thermal crack stability Pressure tightness As-cast state Ageability Corrosion resistance Decorative anodisation Weldability Polishability

Al Mg3(H) Al Mg3 Al Mg3(Cu) Al Mg3Si(H) Al Mg5 Al Mg5(Si) Al Mg9(H)/Fe Al Mg9 Al Mg3(Zr) Al Mg5Si2Mn Al Si2MgTi

Physical properties
Alloy Density E-Modulus Thermal capacity at 100 °C J/gK 0.93 0.93 0.93 0.93 0.94 0.94 0.94 0.94 Solidification temperature °C 650 - 600 650 - 600 650 - 600 650 - 600 630 - 550 630 - 550 620 - 520 620 - 520 Coefficient of thermal expansion 10-6/K 293 K - 373 K 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 23 Electrical conductivity MS/m 17 - 22 17 - 22 17 - 22 17 - 22 15 - 21 15 - 21 11 - 14 11 - 14 14 - 16 19 - 25 Thermal conductivity W/(m . k) 130 - 140 130 - 140 130 - 140 130 - 140 110 - 130 110 - 140 60 60 90 90

g/cm3 Al Mg3(H) Al Mg3 Al Mg3(Cu) Al Mg3Si(H) Al Mg5 Al Mg5(Si) Al Mg9(H)/Fe Al Mg9 Al Mg5Si2Mn Al Si2MgTi 2.68 2.68 2.68 2.68 2.66 2.66 2.63 2.63

MPa 70,000 70,000 70,000 70,000 69,000 69,000 68,000 68,000

110 - 130 140 - 160

82 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Mechanical properties at room temperature +20 °C
Alloy / Temper Casting method Tensile strength Rm Yield strength Rp0,2 Elongation A MPa min Al Mg3(H) Al Mg3 Al Mg3(Cu) Al Mg3Si(H) Al Mg5 Al Si2MgTi F F F F F F T6 Al Mg5(Si) Al Mg3(H) Al Mg3 Al Mg3(Cu) Al Mg3Si(H) F F F F F T6 Al Mg5 Al Si2MgTi F F T6 Al Mg5(Si) F T6 Al Mg3 Al Mg5 Al Mg5(Si) Al Mg9(H)/Fe Al Mg9 Al Si2MgTi Al Si2MgTi F F F F F F T6 Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting 140 140 140 140 16 140 240 160 150 150 150 150 220 180 140 240 180 210 140 160 180 Pressure die casting 200 Pressure die casting 200 Gravity die casting Gravity die casting 170 260 MPa min 70 70 70 70 90 70 180 100 70 70 70 70 150 100 70 180 110 120 70 90 110 140 130 70 180 % min 5 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 5 5 3 3 4 4 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 1 1 5 5 min 50 50 50 50 55 50 85 60 50 50 50 50 75 60 50 85 65 70 50 55 65 70 70 50 85 60 60 90 90 60 70 90 90 60 60 60 70 70 60 90 90 90 80 90 90 Brinell hardness HB Fatigue resistance MPa

The values apply for separately-cast sample bars in sand and gravity die casting. Mechanical properties of pressure die casting samples are not binding and merely serve as information. The values representing vibration testing and/or fatigue strength apply for the best available casting process and merely serve as information.

Heat treatment of aluminium castings
Alloy / Temper Solution heat treatment temperature °C Al Mg3Si(H) Al Mg5(Si) Al Si2MgTi T6 T6 T6 545 - 555 540 - 550 520 - 535 Annealing time Water temperature for quenching °C 20 20 20 Ageing tempetarure °C 160 - 170 160 - 170 155 - 165 Ageing time

h 4 - 10 4 - 10 4 - 10

h 8 - 10 8 - 10 7 - 10

Aluminium Casting Alloys 83

AlMg casting alloys

Mechanical properties of gravity die casting samples 1)
Alloy / Temper Tensile strength Rm MPa Yield strength Rp0,2 MPa Elongation A % Brinell hardness HB

-100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C Al Mg3Si(H) Al Mg5(Si) T6 T6 220 210 210 200 120 170 80 140 150 120 140 110 60 100 30 70 4 4 4 4 5 5 14 8 75 70 45 70 40 60 20 30

1) Mechanical properties in minimum values / values after long-term maintenance of the respective temperature.

Typical process parameters
Alloy Casting temperature Sand Gravity casting die casting °C Al Mg3(H) Al Mg3 Al Mg3(Cu) Al Mg3Si(H) Al Mg5 Al Mg5(Si) Al Mg9(H)/Fe Al Mg9 700 - 750 700 - 750 700 - 750 700 - 750 700 - 750 700 - 750 °C 700 - 750 700 - 750 700 - 750 700 - 750 700 - 750 700 - 750 680 - 640 680 - 640 Pressure die casting °C Contraction allowance Sand Gravity casting die casting % 1.0 - 1.5 1.0 - 1.5 1.0 - 1.5 1.0 - 1.5 1.0 - 1.5 1.0 - 1.5 % 0.7 - 1.2 0.7 - 1.2 0.7 - 1.2 0.7 - 1.2 0.7 - 1.2 0.7 - 1.2 0.5 - 0.7 0.5 - 0.7 Pressure die casting %

84 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Application notes We produce Al Mg3-type casting alloys for handles, window handles or security covers in decorative anodised quality. For structures in the chemical industry, in shipbuilding or the food industry, which demand the highest possible resistance to chemical attack and the influences of maritime climates, Al Mg5-type casting alloys are suitable. Heat-resistant Al Mg5Si-type casting alloys are suitable for high-temperature applications such as engine construction. In France, the Al Si2MgTi alloy is used for handles. For pressure die castings with good corrosion resistance, Al Mg9-type casting alloys are used.

Properties and processing The highest requirements are placed on the quality of these casting alloys – particularly for decorative parts which are anodised. The manufacture of these casting alloys represents a special challenge for smelters requiring much experience, the best raw materials and quality-oriented work.

Notes about surface treatment As a pre-treatment, the surfaces of castings made from Al Mg3, for example, are mechanically machined as well as often being chemically polished. In the anodising process (electrolytically-oxidised aluminium), a protective oxide layer, which grows inwards and is essentially more impervious, thicker, more wear resistant and more homogeneous than a natural oxide skin, is produced on the surface of a casting. On pure aluminium and on aluminium alloys which are low in precipitates, these layers are transparent. All defects such as precipitated intermetallic phases, inclusions, heterogeneities, oxide films, wrinkles and other casting defects lead to disturbances in the growth of the layer formation and, consequently, impairment of the decorative appearance. As the electro-chemically formed oxide layer is also the possible carrier of discolouring substances, defects near the surface can lead to the parts having a blemished, non-decorative appearance. Hollow spaces such as wrinkles or pores which have been cut can be taken up by the aqueous solutions or electrolyte during treatment. Even later, due to a secondary reaction, the remainder of this medium can lead to local decomposition of the anodised or colour coating.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 85

AlMg casting alloys

The following alloying constituents can have an influence on the quality and appearance of anodised layers: Silicon With Si concentrations higher than 0.6 %, the precipitated silicon or Mg2Si impairs transparency. The anodised layer loses its brilliance. Iron, chromium and manganese The sum total of these elements can have a yellowing effect on the anodised layer. Limiting concentrations can not be established. Their influence depends on the phase composition and chemical back-dissolution during anodising. Copper It has no negative influence when found in normal concentrations. In the case of higher additions, the layer becomes softer and the composition rougher. Zinc This element has no influence on the anodising process or pigmentation. Titanium Concentrations of Ti above 0.02 % have a negative effect on the electrolytic colouration of aluminium castings.

Notes on casting techniques To avoid the tendency to hot tearing during casting and particularly for decorative reasons, the cast structure must be fine-grained. This fine-grained structure can already be achieved during the production of the ingots by means of intensive grain refinement. As a general rule, this grain refinement does not have to be repeated during pouring. Should grain refinement decrease as a result of prolonged holding, we recommend that it be freshened up using TiB grain refining wire. Melt cleaning or keeping the melt clean is important in order to produce a cast piece of good quality. We recommend that only those refining fluxes which are specifically suited to AlMg casting alloys be used.

Bale-out vessels with ceramic filter elements have also proven their worth. During casting, only the filtrate is baled out; the ladle remainder and subsequently charged metal enter into the outside areas of the melting or holding crucible. The casting operation requires particular care in order to produce a sound casting despite the constant risk of forming oxides and shrinkage. In doing this, the configuration of the dies and the casting system play an important role. The type of solidification is globular-mushy. A good feeding system is an essential prerequisite for producing a dense structure.

86 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Casting alloys for special applications

Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) / VDS-No. High-strength casting alloys Al Cu4Ti min max 21100 Al Cu4MgTI min max 21000 Al Cu4MnMg min max 21200 Al Cu4MgTiAg min max Al Cu5NiCoSbZr min max Piston casting alloys AlSi12CuNiMg min max 48000 / 260 Al Si18CuNiMg min max 17.0 19.0 0.3 0.8 1.3 0.10 0.8 1.3 0.8 1.3 0.10 0.15 0.05 0.15 P 10.5 13.5 0.6 (0.7) 0.8 1.5 0.35 0.9 (0.8) 1.5 (1.5) 0.7 1.3 0.35 0.20 (0.25) 0.05 0.15 P 0.20 0.30 0.05 0.10 4.0 5.2 4.5 5.2 0.01 0.50 0.1 0.3 0.10 0.15 0.35 1.3 1.7 0.10 0.05 0.5 0.35 0.15 0.30 0.05 0.15 0.03 Ag 0.4 0.10 1.0 **** 0.10 0.15 (0.20) 4.0 5.0 0.20 0.50 0.20 (0.15) 0.50 (0.50) 0.15 (0.20) 0.30 (0.35) 4.2 5.0 0.10 0.20 (0.15) 0.35 (0.35) 0.15 (0.15) 0.25 (0.30) 0.15 (0.18) 0.15 (0.19) 4.2 5.2 0.55 0.07 0.15 (0.15) 0.25 (0.30) Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

0.03

0.10

0.05

0.10

0.05

0.05

0.03

0.10

0.03 (0.05)

0.05 (0.10)

0.03

0.03

0.05 (0.10)

0.03

0.10

****) Co 0.10-0.40 Sb 0.10-0.30 Zr 0.10-0.30 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010

Continuation of the table on the next page.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 87

Casting alloys for special applications

Chemical composition (all data in wt.-%)
Alloy Numerical denomination 1) Hyper eutectic casting alloys Al Si17Cu4Mg* Al Si17Cu4Mg** min max min max 48100 Self-hardening casting alloys Autodur Autodur (Fe)* Autodur (Fe)** min max min max min max 71100 Rotor-Aluminium Al 99.7E*** min max 0.07 0.20 0.01 0.005 0.02 0.004 0.04 Mn+Cr+ 0.03 V+Ti= 0.02 Mn+Cr+ 0.03 V+Ti= 0.030 B 0.04 8.5 9.5 8.5 9.5 7.5 9.5 0.27 (0.30) 0.08 (0.10) 0.15 0.15 0.40 0.02 0.02 0.05 0.30 0.3 0.5 0.3 0.5 0.25 (0.20) 0.5 (0.5) 9.5 10.5 9.5 10.5 9.0 10.5 0.15 0.05 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.03 0.03 0.10 0.10 16.0 18.0 16.0 18.0 1.0 (1.3) 0.3 4.0 5.0 4.0 5.0 0.50 0.15 0.5 0.65 0.45 (0.25) 0.65 (0.65) 0.10 0.10 0.20 0.05 0.15 P Other indiv. total Others

Si

Fe

Cu

Mn

Mg

Cr

Ni

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ti

0.3

1.5

0.15

0.20 (0.25)

0.05

0.25

Al 99.6E***

min max

0.10

0.30

0.01

0.007

0.02

0.005

0.04

B 0.04

*) Non-standardised version **) According to DIN EN 1706: 2010 ***) According to DIN EN 576 Values in brackets are valid for castings according to DIN EN 1706: 2010 1) According to DIN EN 1676: 2010

88 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Casting characteristics and other properties of castings
Alloy Fluidity Thermal crack stability Pressure tightness As-cast state Ageability Corrosion resistance Decorative anodisation Weldability Polishability

High-strength casting alloys Al Cu4Ti Al Cu4TiMgTi Al Cu4TiMgAg Al Cu5NiCoSbZr Piston casting alloys Al Si12CuNiMg Al Si18CuNiMg Hyper eutectic casting alloys Al Si17Cu4Mg 1) Al Si17Cu4Mg 2) Self-hardening casting alloys Autodur Autodur(Fe) Al Zn10Si8Mg 1) Rotor-Aluminium Al 99.7E Al 99.6E 1) Non-standardised version 2) According to DIN EN 1706: 2010

Aluminium Casting Alloys 89

Casting alloys for special applications

Physical properties
Alloy Density E-Modulus Thermal capacity at 100 °C J/gK Solidification temperature °C Coefficient of thermal expansion 10-6/K 293 K - 373 K Electrical conductivity MS/m Thermal conductivity W/(m . k)

g/cm3 High-strength casting alloys Al Cu4Ti Al Cu4MgTi Al Cu4TiMgAg Al Cu5NiCoSbZr Piston casting alloys Al Si12CuNiMg Al Si18CuNiMg 2.68 2.68 2.79 2.79 2.79 2.84

MPa

72,000 72,000 72,000 76,000

0.91 0.91 0.91 0.91

640 - 550 640 - 550 640 - 550 650 - 550

23 23 23 23

16 - 23 16 - 23 16 - 23 18 - 24

120 - 150 120 - 150 120 - 150 120 - 155

77,000 81,000

0.90 0.90

600 - 540 680 - 520

20 19

15 - 23 14 - 18

130 - 160 115 - 140

Hyper eutectic casting alloys Al Si17Cu4Mg 1) Al Si17Cu4Mg 2) Self-hardening casting alloys Autodur Autodur(Fe) Al Zn10Si8Mg 2) Rotor-Aluminium Al 99.7E Al 99.6E 2.70 2.70 70,000 70,000 0.94 0.94 660 660 24 24 34 - 36 32 - 34 180 - 210 180 - 210 2.85 2.85 75,000 75,000 0.86 0.86 640 - 550 640 - 550 21 21 21 15 - 20 15 - 20 17 - 20 115 - 150 115 - 150 120 - 130 2.73 81,000 0.89 650 - 510 19 18 14 - 18 14 - 17 115 - 130 120 - 130

1) Non-standardised version 2) According to DIN EN 1706: 2010

90 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Mechanical properties at room temperature +20 °C
Alloy / Temper Casting method Tensile strength Rm Yield strength Rp0,2 Elongation A MPa min High-strength casting alloys Al Cu4Ti T6 Sand casting 300 280 300 460 - 510 370 - 430 180 - 220 180 - 220 330 320 320 460 - 510 200 180 200 410 - 450 200 - 270 145 - 165 160 - 180 220 180 200 410 - 460 3 5 5 7 14 18 95 85 90 130 - 150 105 - 120 85 80 95 90 95 130 - 150 80 - 110 100 - 110 95 90 90 - 100 90 - 100 80 - 110 MPa min % min min Brinell hardness HB Fatigue resistance MPa

T64 Sand casting Al Cu4TiMg Al Cu4TiMgAg T4 T6 Sand casting Sand casting

T64 Sand casting Al Cu5NiCoSbZr T7 T5 Al Cu4Ti(H) T6 Sand casting Sand casting Gravity die casting

1 - 1.5 1 - 1.5 7 8 8 8

T64 Gravity die casting Al Cu4MgTi Al Cu4TiMgAg Piston casting alloys Al Si12CuNiMg F T6 T5 Hyper eutectic casting alloys Al Si17Cu4Mg F T6 T5 Al Si18CuNiMg F T6 Piston casting alloys Al Si12CuNiMg F T6 T5 Al Si17Cu4Mg F T6 T5 Al Si18CuNiMg F T6 T5 Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting Sand casting T4 T6 Gravity die casting Gravity die casting

140 220 160

130 190 140

≤1 ≤1 ≤1

80 90 80

140 240 230 140 230

130 23 220 130 210

≤1 ≤1 ≤1 ≤1 ≤1

80 110 100 85 100

200 280 200 180 280 165 180 280 180

190 240 185 170 270 160 170 270 170

≤1 ≤1 ≤1 ≤1 ≤1 ≤1 ≤1 ≤1 ≤1

90 100 90 100 130 105 90 120 90

80 - 110

80 - 110

80 - 110

Continuation of the table on the next page.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 91

Casting alloys for special applications

Mechanical properties at room temperature +20 °C
Alloy / Temper Casting method Tensile strength Rm Yield strength Rp0,2 Elongation A MPa min Piston casting alloys Al Si12CuNiMg F T5 Al Si17Cu4Mg
1)

Brinell hardness HB min

MPa min

% min

Fatigue resistance MPa

Pressure die casting 240 Pressure die casting 240 Pressure die casting 220 Pressure die casting 230 Pressure die casting 210

140 140 200 210 180

≤1 ≤1 ≤1 ≤1 ≤1

90 90 100 100 100

F T5

Al Si18CuNiMg

F

Self-hardening casting alloys Autodur Al Zn10Si8Mg Autodur Autodur(Fe) Rotor-Aluminium Al 99.7E Al 99.6E Al 99.7E Al 99.6E F F F F Gravity die casting Gravity die casting Pressure die casting Pressure die casting 60 60 80 80 20 20 20 20 30 30 10 10 14 14 15 15 T1 T1 T1 T1 Sand casting Sand casting Gravity die casting 210 210 260 190 190 210 230 ≤1 1 ≤1 ≤1 90 90 100 100 80 - 100

Pressure die casting 290

1) Non-standardised version The values apply for separately-cast sample bars in sand and gravity die casting. Mechanical properties of pressure die casting samples are not binding and merely serve as information. The values representing vibration testing and/or fatigue strength apply for the best available casting process and merely serve as information.

92 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Heat treatment of aluminium castings
Alloy / Temper Solution heat treatment temperature °C High-strength casting alloys Al Cu4TiMg Al Cu5NiCoSbZr T4 T5 T7 Al Cu4Ti Al Cu4TiMgAg Al Cu4Ti(H) Piston casting alloys Al Si12CuNiMg T5 T6 Al Si18CuNiMg T5 T6 T7 Hyper eutectic casting alloys Al Si17Cu4Mg 1) T5 T6 T7 1) Non-standardised version Air quenching 495 - 505 495 - 505 None 7 - 10 7 - 10 20 - 80 20 - 80 225 - 235 165 - 185 225 - 235 7 - 12 7 - 10 7 - 10 Air quenching 520 - 530 Air quenching 495 - 505 495 - 505 None 5 - 10 None 7 - 10 7 - 10 20 - 80 20 - 80 20 - 80 210 - 230 165 - 185 225 - 235 165 - 185 225 - 235 10 - 14 5 - 10 7 - 12 7 - 10 7 - 10 T6 T6 T64 535 - 545 515 - 535 525 - 535 515 - 535 10 - 15 8 - 18 8 - 18 8 - 18 520 - 530 8 - 16 20 - 80 Air 20 - 80 20 - 80 20 - 80 20 - 80 15 30 > 120 8 - 10 12 - 16 6 6 6 8 7 8 Annealing time Water temperature for quenching °C Ageing tempetarure °C Ageing time

h

h

345 - 355 210 - 220 170 - 180 170 - 180 135 - 145

Mechanical properties of gravity die casting samples 1)
Alloy / Temper Tensile strength Rm MPa Yield strength Rp0,2 MPa Elongation A % Brinell hardness HB

-100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C -100°C +20°C +100°C +200°C Piston casting alloys Al Si12CuNiMg Al Si18CuNiMg F F 200 180 200 180 160 160 100 120 190 170 170 150 100 100 70 80 ≤1 ≤1 1.5 1 2.5 2 3 3 90 90 85 90 60 70 35 50

Hyper eutectic casting alloys Al Si17Cu4Mg 2) F 180 180 160 120 170 150 100 80 ≤1 1 2 3 100 90 70 50

1) Mechanical properties in minimum values / values after long-term maintenance of the respective temperature. 2) Non-standardised version

Aluminium Casting Alloys 93

Casting alloys for special applications

Typical process parameters
Alloy Casting temperature Sand Gravity casting die casting °C High-strength casting alloys Al Cu4Ti Al Cu4MgTi Al Cu4TiMgAg Al Cu5NiCoSbZr Piston casting alloys Al Si12CuNiMg Al Si18CuNiMg 670 - 740 730 - 760 670 - 740 730 - 760 620 - 660 730 - 760 1.0 - 1.2 0.6 - 1.0 0.5 - 1.0 0.4 - 0.8 0.4 - 0.6 0.3 - 0.6 690 - 750 690 - 750 690 - 750 690 - 750 690 - 750 690 - 750 690 - 750 690 - 750 1.1 - 1.5 1.1 - 1.5 1.1 - 1.5 1.1 - 1.5 0.8 - 1.2 0.8 - 1.2 0.8 - 1.2 °C Pressure die casting °C Contraction allowance Sand Gravity casting die casting % % Pressure die casting %

Hyper eutectic casting alloys Al Si17Cu4Mg 1) 720 - 760 720 - 760 720 - 760 0.6 - 1.0 0.4 - 0.8 0.3 - 0.6

Self-hardening casting alloys Autodur Autodur(Fe) Rotor-Aluminium Al 99.7E Al 99.6E 1) Non-standardised version 700 - 730 700 - 730 700 - 730 700 - 730 690 - 730 690 - 730 1.5 - 1.9 1.5 - 1.9 1.2 - 1.6 1.2 - 1.6 1.0 - 1.4 1.0 - 1.4 740 - 690 740 - 690 700 - 650 1.0 - 1.2 0.8 - 1.0 0.5 - 0.8

94 Aluminium Casting Alloys

High-strength casting alloy

Application notes These casting alloys are used for parts which – compared to all other aluminium casting alloys – require maximum strength. Where their reduced corrosion resistance represents no obstacles, these casting alloys can be used to manufacture highstrength components, for example, for the defence industry, aerospace, automotive, rail vehicles, mechanical engineering and the textile industry.

being added to optimise their strength. Furthermore, there are also casting alloy types which contain silver so as to meet the maximum strength requirements. The corrosion resistance of cast pieces is reduced, however, due to the high copper content. The casting technique for these alloys is demanding. Most defects in the castings stem from “contamination” with silicon. The silicon content should be kept as low as possible and always lower than the iron content. An excess of silicon

from all sprues. From practical experience, some users recommend having a separate foundry department for these casting alloys. Melt cleaning and degassing can be carried out without any trouble using normal means. Melt treatment is restricted to grain refinement which, among other things, slightly counteracts the susceptibility to hot cracking. Intensive grain refinement is already performed by us so it does not usually need to be repeated in the foundry. The fluidity of these casting alloys is comparable with other hypoeutectic AlSi casting alloys. The solidification characteristics are best described as being globular-mushy. At approx. 90 K, the solidification range is relatively high. Using a good filling system in conjunction with steered or controlled solidification and suitable feeding, optimum structural qualities can be achieved with the sand and gravity die casting processes. Thanks to their good structural quality and optimum heat treatment, these high-strength casting alloys are suitable for the manufacture of castings whose unmatched mechanical properties comply with maximum demands.

Properties and processing The use of these relatively demanding casting alloys only makes sense if the component undergoes heat treatment. Only then, can the potential of these casting alloys be fully utilised. Following heat treatment, the castings still have excellent elongation as well as displaying the highest possible strength and hardness. This combination of high strength and good elongation values gives these casting alloys the highest possible Quality Index “Q”. By means of special heat treatment, hardness and elongation values can be adjusted within determined limits. There are other variants of these aluminium casting alloys, e.g. with nickel and cobalt

produces a low melting phase and increases the susceptibility to hot tearing during solidification. Even slight impediments to solidification shrinkage can lead to structural separation. The most important requirement in the foundry is therefore cleanliness to prevent the takeup of silicon. Here are some recommendations: The melting crucible must not contain any remainder of silicon alloys. It also makes good sense to melt several batches of an alloy which is low in silicon in a new crucible to free the crucible material of silicon. There are users who, for this reason, use melting crucibles made of graphite or cast iron for these casting alloys. Return material should also be checked very strictly and stored separately; residual sand and other return material must be painstakingly removed

Aluminium Casting Alloys 95

High-strength casting alloy

Heat treatment The heat treatment of castings is another important step in the production of quality cast parts. Exact temperature regulation of the annealing furnace, good temperature distribution by means of circulating air and the correct positioning of the casting in the baskets, holders or racks are essential prerequisites for success. In solution annealing, the temperature increase should be moderate in order to allow enough time for temperature equalisation to take place in the castings and to avoid incipient fusion. The relief of casting strain, the removal of microstructural inhomogeneity and the diffusion of hardening constituents require longer periods of time. In these casting alloys, especially in thick-walled, slowsolidifying castings, stepped annealing

is recommended. First of all, the cast pieces undergo preliminary annealing at 480 to 490 °C for between 4 and 8 hours; they are then given a solution heat treatment at approx. 515 to 535 °C for a further 6 to 10 hours. To avoid distortion, quenching of the casting after annealing can be effected by means of a water shower followed by immersion in warm water at temperatures of up to 80 °C. Fully-annealed Al Cu4TiMg castings have a susceptibility to stress corrosion. This condition is therefore not standardised for this casting alloy. Such parts are only used in naturally-aged condition (T4).

96 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Piston alloys

Application notes These casting alloys are used for castings with wear-resistant surfaces and for structures which have to possess good strength properties at high temperatures. The main applications comprise: pistons for combustion engines, crankcases without additional cylinder liners, pump casings, valve casings, valve slides, gear elements etc.

Properties and processing The wear resistance of these casting alloys is due to many hard, rectangular or polygonal primary silicon crystals which are embedded in the ductile base material and jut out of the surface of the track with an edge (while the neighbouring troughs act as reservoirs for lubricant). In addition, alloying elements such as Cu, Mg or Ni give these casting alloys remarkable high-temperature strength. In order to produce as many small and evenly-distributed silicon crystals as possible in the cast structure, phosphorous is added. This treatment is already carried out during production of the ingots in our secondary smelters and, as a rule, does not need to be repeated by the foundry. The fluidity of these types of casting alloy is very good. In spite of this, silicon crystals forming in the melt at too low casting temperatures are to be avoided because of their abrasive effect. Additional information is provided in the section on “Selecting aluminium casting alloys”.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 97

Self-hardening aluminium-silicon-zinc casting alloys

Application notes These casting alloys are used in the manufacture of models, foamed shapes, wearing parts or the bases of electric irons, for example. The use of these casting alloys is not recommended for machine parts which are subject to alternating or impact stress, are obliged to absorb bending and shearing stress or requiring a specific ductility.

Properties and processing The fluidity of Autodur in particular is very good. Solidification behaviour is similar to that of other casting alloys containing approx. 9 % silicon. Alloys of this type are self-hardening, i.e. after casting, the castings are stored at room temperature and within approx. 10 days reach their service properties. This hardening takes place as a result of precipitation of the complex Al ZnMg. The advantage of these casting alloys lies exclusively in their saving of heat treatment costs. There are, however, disadvantages in using these casting alloys. The following information should serve as a warning: Under unfavourable conditions whilst molten, the zinc content is reduced due to its high vapour pressure. The resistance of Autodur to corrosion is sharply reduced as a result of its high zinc content of around 10 %.

In cases where the exposure to corrosion is great or where parts made from Autodur are assembled with other castings or parts made from other aluminium alloys, or indeed fitted to steel parts, there is a strong tendency to contact corrosion. Compared with all other aluminium casting alloys, castings made from these alloys display the lowest high-temperature strength. (Precipitation treatment carried out at room temperature to increase hardness has no clearly definable effect.) Experience shows that castings, even after many years, can fracture spontaneously under the slightest impact or shock load. Over time, the microstructure appears to be embrittled.

98 Aluminium Casting Alloys

Rotor aluminium

Application notes This pure aluminium is mostly used in pressure die casting and goes into the manufacture of rotors (short-circuit armatures) and stators for the electric motor sector. It can also be cast into other construction elements which require high electrical and thermal conductivity.

Properties and processing There is a particular hurdle in the near net shape casting of pure aluminium, i.e. sensitivity to hot tearing. The most important prerequisite for keeping this problem within limits is to maintain the correct ratio between iron and silicon. The silicon content must be as low as possible and the iron content must always be at least double the silicon content. Molten pure aluminium readily absorbs silicon from any standing material it comes into contact with. This can easily lead to an “imbalanced ratio”. Cleanliness is therefore important during processing and it is also essential to check tools and the melting crucible. In extreme emergencies when silicon enrichment occurs, it helps to increase the iron content within the permitted tolerance range.

Aluminium Casting Alloys 99

Aluminium Casting Alloys

We have taken the relevant specialist literature into consideration while drawing up this Aluminium Casting Alloy Catalogue. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require more detailed literary explanations.

If you require any additional data or support at short notice, please refer to our contact details on the back of this brochure or simply visit us online at www.aleris.com.

Aluminium Casting Alloys

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© 2011, Aleris Switzerland GmbH Issue 12/11 · 1st release

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