Energy Saving Melting and Revert Reduction Technology: Innovative Semi-Solid Metal (SSM) Processing

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Semi-solid metal (SSM) processing has emerged as an attractive method for near-net-shape manufacturing due to the distinct advantages it holds over conventional near-net-shape forming technologies. These advantages include lower cycle time, increased die life, reduced porosity, reduced solidification shrinkage, improved mechanical properties, etc. SSM processing techniques can not only produce the complex dimensional details (e.g. thin-walled sections) associated with conventional high-pressure die castings, but also can produce high integrity castings currently attainable only with squeeze and low-pressure permanent mold casting processes. There are two primary semi-solid processing routes, (a) thixocasting and (b) rheocasting. In the thixocasting route, one starts from ... continued below

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Apelian, Diran August 15, 2012.

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Description

Semi-solid metal (SSM) processing has emerged as an attractive method for near-net-shape manufacturing due to the distinct advantages it holds over conventional near-net-shape forming technologies. These advantages include lower cycle time, increased die life, reduced porosity, reduced solidification shrinkage, improved mechanical properties, etc. SSM processing techniques can not only produce the complex dimensional details (e.g. thin-walled sections) associated with conventional high-pressure die castings, but also can produce high integrity castings currently attainable only with squeeze and low-pressure permanent mold casting processes. There are two primary semi-solid processing routes, (a) thixocasting and (b) rheocasting. In the thixocasting route, one starts from a non-dendritic solid precursor material that is specially prepared by a primary aluminum manufacturer, using continuous casting methods. Upon reheating this material into the mushy (a.k.a. "two-phase") zone, a thixotropic slurry is formed, which becomes the feed for the casting operation. In the rheocasting route (a.k.a. "slurry-on-demand" or "SoD"), one starts from the liquid state, and the thixotropic slurry is formed directly from the melt via careful thermal management of the system; the slurry is subsequently fed into the die cavity. Of these two routes, rheocasting is favored in that there is no premium added to the billet cost, and the scrap recycling issues are alleviated. The CRP (Trade Marked) is a process where the molten metal flows through a reactor prior to casting. The role of the reactor is to ensure that copious nucleation takes place and that the nuclei are well distributed throughout the system prior to entering the casting cavity. The CRP (Trade Marked) has been successfully applied in hyper-eutectic Al-Si alloys (i.e., 390 alloy) where two liquids of equal or different compositions and temperatures are mixed in the reactor and creating a SSM slurry. The process has been mostly used for hypo-eutectic Al-Si alloys (i.e., 356, 357, etc.) where a single melt passes through the reactor. In addition, the CRP (Trade Marked) was designed to be flexible for thixocasting or rheocasting applications as well as batch or continuous casting. Variable heat extraction rates can be obtained by controlling either the superheat of the melt, the temperature of the channel system, or the temperature of the reactor. This program had four main objectives all of which were focused on a mechanistic understanding of the process in order to be able to scale it up, to develop it into a robust process,and for SSM processing to be commercially used.

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  • Report No.: NA
  • Grant Number: FC36-04GO14230
  • DOI: 10.2172/1057874 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1057874
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc828798

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • August 15, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 9:55 p.m.

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Apelian, Diran. Energy Saving Melting and Revert Reduction Technology: Innovative Semi-Solid Metal (SSM) Processing, report, August 15, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc828798/: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.