The purpose of this project is to optimize the whole product development chain for Al-Si castings, from alloy selection and melt treatment to the High Pressure Die Casting (HPDC) process, as well as the post-solidification and prototyping processes for these castings, in order to obtain high quality Al-Si cast components.
HINT: High INTegrity cast components in Al‐Si alloys
Project duration: January 2016 - December 2018
Participating companies: Fagerhult Belysning AB, Lundbergs Pressgjuteri AB, Ventana Hackås (Foundry Division), Bryne AB
Permanent mould casting processes, particularly the HPDC process, are extensively used to manufacture Al-Si cast alloy products for industries such as the automotive, telecom and lighting industries, which have high demands in terms of dimensional accuracy and productivity.
The quality of the Al-Si castings is influenced by a number of parameters, not only from the HPDC process as such, but also from the alloying and melt treatment processes preceding the HPDC process. Optimization of the whole process chain is therefore a complex undertaking and requires extensive knowledge about the influence of different parameters on the final Al-Si components.
Given the complexity of the process, the achievement of high quality castings with few or zero defects remains a challenge. To tackle this challenge, every step in the whole chain - from alloying and melt treatment to component in service - as well as the interactions between the various steps, need to be scientifically understood and implemented.
– One of the main goals of this project is to integrate all steps involved prior to and within the HPDC process for a proper product quality development, says Ehsan Ghassemali. Since prototyping is another important part of the cast component development chain, this process will also be investigated in the research project.
The research will cover the effects of various parameters on the final microstructure and mechanical properties of the Al-Si castings. To save time and money, computer simulation will be used to create predictions on how different parameters influence the quality and to optimize the process. For the investigation of possible impurities in the castings, advanced x-ray tomography techniques will be used.
The industrial partners involved in the project represent all different parts of the product development chain - from designers to foundries to end-users of the castings. The knowledge developed in the research project will be transferred to these partners through guidelines and educational seminars.
Dr. Ehsan Ghassemali, Research Fellow.
Content updated 2017-11-17