The effects of microstructural characteristics (secondary dendrite arm spacing, SDAS) and Si- and Fe-based eutectic structures on the mechanical properties and failure behavior of an Al-Si-Cu alloy are investigated. Cast Al alloy samples are produced using a special continuous-casting technique with which it is easy to control both the sizes of microstructures and the direction of crystal orientation. Dendrite cells appear to grow in the casting direction. There are linear correlations between SDAS and tensile properties (ultimate tensile strength σUTS, 0.2 pct proof strength σ0.2, and fracture strain εf). These linear correlations, however, break down, especially for σUTSvs SDAS and εfvs SDAS, as the eutectic structures become more than 3 μm in diameter, when the strength and ductility (σUTS and εf) decrease significantly. For eutectic structures larger than 3 μm, failure is dominated by the brittle eutectic phases, for which SDAS is no longer strongly correlated with σUTS and εf. In contrast, a linear correlation is obtained between σ0.2 and SDAS, even for eutectic structures larger than 3 μm, and the eutectic structure does not have a strong effect on yield behavior. This is because failure in the eutectic phases occurs just before final fracture. In situ failure observation during tensile testing is performed using microstructural and lattice characteristics. From the experimental results obtained, models of failure during tensile loading are proposed.
|Number of pages
|Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
|Published - 2015 Apr