Tomasz Szymczak, Grzegorz Gumienny, Tadeusz Pacyniak

Effect of vanadium on the crystallization process, microstructure and properties of Al-Si alloy EN AC-46000


The paper presents the results of the study of Al-Si alloys with a vanadium addition used in pressure casting. The hypoeutectic Al-Si alloy grade EN AC-46000 was applied as the initial alloy. The master alloy AlV10 was introduced into the initial alloy in the amount making it possible to obtain the vanadium content in the consecutively melted Al-Si alloys of about 0.1; 0.2; 0.3; 0,4 and 0.5 wt. %. The tests were performed on both the initial Al-Si alloy and alloys containing vanadium. The investigations included a thermal and derivative (DTA) analysis of the crystallization process, a metallographic analysis of the microstructure of casts prepared in DTA tester and pressure casts, as well as the determination of the basic mechanical properties of the pressure cast Al-Si alloy. The DTA tests showed an increase in the temperature at the beginning of the Al-Si alloy crystallization and no additional thermal effects. The metallographic examinations demonstrated a decrease of the average phase size in the microstructure of the alloy cast in the DTA tester. In the Al-Si alloys containing 0.3; 0.4 and 0.5 wt. % V, both the lamellar precipitates of eutectic silicon and of the intermetallic phases originating in the eutectics were characterized by significantly lower maximal dimensions, compared to the Al-Si alloys with lower V contents. In the microstructure of the pressure cast Al-Si alloys, which contain vanadium, "new" phases may form, which did not occur in the Al-Si alloys without V. These are probably intermetallic phases containing vanadium. The size of these precipitates increases with the increase of the vanadium content in the Al-Si alloy. The performed tests of the basic mechanical properties of the pressure cast Al-Si alloys showed the possibility of obtaining higher values of tensile strength Rm, proof stress Rp0.2 and hardness HB of the Al-Si alloys containing vanadium, compared to the Al-Si alloys without this element. The highest values: Rm = 248 MPa were obtained in the Al-Si alloy containing about 0.3% vanadium; Rp0.2 = 113 MPa - with the content of 0.1, and 0.2% and HB = 116 for the V addition of about 0.2 wt. %. As regards the Al-Si alloy without a vanadium addition, the obtained values caused an increase of Rm by 26%; Rp0.2 by 12% and HB by 7%.

Keywords: Al-Si alloy, vanadium, microstructure, mechanical properties, pressure die casting,
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