Natural Aging Effects on the Solutionizing Heat Treatment Process of the A6060 Al Alloy As-Cast Billets for Profile Production


Recently results were presented for an R & D program for handling the as-cast billets of an Al-Si-Mg A6060 Al alloy at the solutionizing heat treatment temperature. A reduction in the solutionizing temperature of the as-cast billets from 585 to 540 was found. This leads to substantial energy savings without lowering the quality of the final commercial Al profiles. The alloy was treated from the microstructural point of view as an Aluminum Metal-Matrix Composite (Al-MMC). Strengthening of the Al matrix grains during the process was quantified and measured by micro-Vickers hardness testing. A possible application of this is to apply the suggested lower temperature solutionizing process to billets stockpiled in the factory for some months. The alloy undergoes natural aging, a physical process at ambient temperature that alters its microstructural features. Does this aging affect the quality of the lower temperature solutionizing treated profiles? The effect of the natural aging by micro-Vickers hardness testing on some of the same samples of our original work stockpiled in our lab for 10 months was investigated. We applied, further, the Image-Pro Plus image processing software on them in an effort to collect microstructural data and compared them to values taken 10 months earlier. Also we tried an interconnection between the two experimental processes treating the alloy as an Al-MMC.

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Triantafyllidis, G. , Pukhalska, N. and Zagkliveris, D. (2015) Natural Aging Effects on the Solutionizing Heat Treatment Process of the A6060 Al Alloy As-Cast Billets for Profile Production. Materials Sciences and Applications, 6, 111-116. doi: 10.4236/msa.2015.62014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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