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Ageless Aluminum-cerium-based Alloys In High-volume Die Casting for Improved Energy Efficiency

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of the Minerals Metals & Materials Society (JOM)
Publication Date
Page Numbers
866 to 871

Strong chemical reactions between Al & Ce leads to the formation of intermetallics with exceptional thermal stability. The rapid formation of intermetallics directly from the liquid phase during solicitation are shown develop an ultrafine microconstituent structure that is effective in strengthening as-cast alloys without further microstructural optimization via thermal processing. Die casting is a high-volume manufacturing technology that accounts for greater than 40% of all cast Al products, while Ce is highly over-produced as a waste-product of other rare earth element (REE) mining. Reduction in heat treatments would engender significant improvements manufacturing energy efficiency exceeding (mt/yr) per large scale heat-treatment line. In this study, multiple compositions were evaluated with wedge mold castings to test the sensitivity of alloys to the variable solidification rate inherent in high pressure die casting. Once a suitable composition was determined, it was successfully demonstrated at 800lbs/hr in a 600 ton die caster using in the production of approximately in an industrial die-cast facility, after which the as-die cast parts outperformed A380 in the solutionized and optimally aged condition (T6). This work demonstrates the compatibility of Al REE alloys for use with high volume die-casting applications with minimal heat-treatments.