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Effects of eutectic modification and grain refinement on microstructure and properties of PM AlSi7 metallic foams

: Lehmhus, D.; Hünert, D.; Mosler, U.; Martin, U.; Weise, J.

Fulltext ()

Metals 9 (2019), No.12, Art. 1241, 34 pp.
ISSN: 2075-4701
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IFAM ()

For AlSi7 foams, microstructure modification by variation of solidification rates and addition of Sr, B and TiB2/TiAl3 was investigated and its transfer to powder metallurgical metal foaming processes demonstrated. Microstructural characterization focused on grain size and morphology of the eutectic phase. Cooling rates during solidification were linked to secondary dendrite arm spacing, establishing a microstructure-based measure of solidification rates. Effects of refining and modification treatments were compared and their influence on foam expansion evaluated. Studies on foams focused on comparison of micro- and pore structure using metallographic techniques as well as computed tomography in combination with image analysis. Reference samples without additives and untreated as well as annealed TiH2 as foaming agent allowed evaluation of pore and microstructure impact on mechanical performance. Evaluation of expansion and pore structure revealed detrimental effects of Sr and B additions, limiting the evaluation of mechanical performance to the TiB2 samples. These, as well as the two reference series samples, were subjected to quasi-static compression testing. Stress-strain curves were gained and density-dependent expressions of ultimate compressive strength, plateau strength and tangent modulus derived. Weibull evaluation of density-normalized mechanical properties revealed a significant influence of grain size on the Weibull modulus at densities below 0.4 g/cm3.