Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Makhlouf M. Makhlouf, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Richard D. Sisson, Jr., Department Head

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Diran Apelian, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Yiming (Kevin) Rong, Committee Member




The objective of this research was to develop and verify a mathematical model that enables the prediction of the effects of heat treatment on cast aluminum alloy components. The model, which uses the commercially available software (ABAQUS), predicts dimensional changes, distortion, and residual stresses in heat treated components. An extensive database is developed for an example aluminum alloy (A356) and includes the mechanical, physical, and thermal properties of the alloy all as functions of temperature. The database is obtained through calculations and measurements made on A356 alloy specimens. In addition, boundary conditions ¨C in the form of heat transfer coefficients for each of the heat treatment steps - are obtained from measurements performed with a special quenching system developed at the Center for Heat Treating Excellence at WPI. The database and boundary conditions were used in the software to predict the dimensional changes, distortions, and residual stresses that develop in a commercial A356 cast component that is subjected to a standard commercial heat treating cycle. In order to verify the accuracy of the software predictions, the predictions were compared to their measured counterparts, where dimensional changes and distortion were measured with a coordinate measuring machine, and residual stresses were measured with x-ray diffraction.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Materials Science & Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





A356, quenching, ABAQUS, heat treatment