The influence of copper on an Al-Si-Mg alloy (A356) - Microstructure and mechanical properties

by Bogdanoff, Toni; Dahlström, Jimmy

Abstract (Summary)

Aluminum alloys are widely used in many manufacturing areas due to good castability, lightness and mechanical properties. The purpose of this research is to investigate copper’s influence on an Al-Si-Mg alloy (A356). Copper in the range of 0.6 – 1.6 wt. % has been used in an A356 aluminum based alloy. In this work a simulation of three different casting processes, sand-, die- and high pressure die-casting has been employed with the help of gradient solidification equipment. The microstructure of the samples has been studied by optical and scanning electron microscopy. Materials in both as-cast and heat treated states have been investigated through tensile test bars  to get the mechanical properties of the different conditions.


Questions that have been subjected to answer are what influence does copper have on the plastic deformation and on fracture behavior and whether there is a relationship between the content of copper and increased porosity or not; and in that case explore this relationship  between the amount of copper and the mechanical behaviour.


It has been analyzed that a peak of mechanical properties is obtained with a content about 1.6 wt. % copper. The increment of copper seems to have a remarkable impact on the mechanical properties and especially after the aging process showing a large raise on the ultimate tensile strength and yield strength.

Relationship between the copper content and increased porosity could not be found.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:aluminum solidification mechanical properties microstructure sdas heat treatment die casting and dendrite


Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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