Effects of process parameters on morphology and distribution of externally solidified crystals in microstructure of magnesium alloy die castings
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During the cold-chamber high pressure die casting (HPDC) process, samples were produced to investigate the microstructure characteristics of AM60B magnesium alloy. Special attention was paid to the effects of process parameters on the morphology and distribution of externally solidified crystals (ESCs) in the microstructure of magnesium alloy die castings, such as slow shot phase plunger velocity, delay time of pouring and fast shot phase plunger velocity. On the basis of metallographic observation and quantitative statistics, it is concluded that a lower slow shot phase plunger velocity and a longer delay time of pouring both lead to an increment of the size and percentage of the ESCs, due to the fact that a longer holding time of the melt in the shot sleeve will cause a more severe loss of the superheat. The impingement of the melt flow on the ESCs is more intensive with a higher fast shot phase plunger velocity, in such case the ESCs reveal a more granular and roundish morphology and are dispersed throughout the cross section of the castings. Based on analysis of the filling and solidification processes of the melt during the HPDC process, reasonable explanations were proposed in terms of the nucleation, growth, remelting and fragmentation of the ESCs to interpret the effects of process parameters on the morphology and distribution of the ESCs in the microstructure of magnesium alloy die castings.
Keywordsmagnesium alloy high pressure die casting microstructure externally solidified crystals process parameters
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