Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Scott MacKenzie, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Yiming (Kevin) Rong, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Makhlouf M. Makhlouf, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Diran Apelian, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Richard D. Sisson, Jr., Advisor




The physical properties of polymer quench bath directly affect the cooling rate of a quenched part. These properties include the type of quenchant, its temperature, concentration, and agitation level. These parameters must be controlled to optimize the quenching process in terms of alloy microstructure, properties and performance. Statistically designed experiments have been performed to investigate the effects of the process parameters (i.e. polymer concentration and agitation) on the heat transfer behavior of cast aluminum alloy A356 in aqueous solution of Aqua-Quench 260 using the CHTE quenching-agitation system. The experiments were designed using Taguchi technique and the experimental results were analyzed with Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) based on the average cooling rate. It is found that average cooling rate dramatically decreases with the increase in polymer concentration. Agitation only enhances the average cooling rate at low and medium concentration levels. From ANOVA analysis, the process parameter that affects the variation of average cooling rate most is the polymer concentration, its percentage contribution is 97%. The effects from agitation and the interaction between polymer concentration and tank agitation are insignificant. The mechanical properties of age-hardenable Al-Si-Mg alloys depend on the rate at which the alloy is cooled after the solutionizing heat treatment. A model based on the transformation kinetics is needed for the design engineer to quantify the effects of quenching rates on the as-aged properties. Quench Factor analysis was developed by Staley to describe the relationship between the cooling rate and the mechanical properties of an age-hardenable alloy. This method has been previously used to successfully predict yield strength, hardness of wrought aluminum alloys. However, the Quench Factor data for aluminum castings are still rare in the literature. In this study, the Jominy End Quench method was used to experimentally collect the time-temperature and hardness data as the inputs for Quench Factor modeling. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed on the experimental data to estimate the kinetic parameters during quenching. Time-Temperature-Property curves of cast aluminum alloy A356 were generated using the estimated kinetic parameters. Experimental verification was performed on a L5 lost foam cast engine head. The predicted hardness agreed well with that experimentally measured.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Materials Science & Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Time-Temperature-Property curve, Jominy End Quench, ANOVA analysis. Quench Factor Analysis, Taguchi design, Polymer quench, Cast Al-Si-Mg alloys, Quenching, Heat treatment, Aluminum castings, Metals, Quenching