Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B-Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science


Systematic experimental work and modeling efforts have been conducted to characterize the yield behavior of commercial aluminum alloys in the semisolid state. In this study, extensive compression experiments were performed to measure the yield stress of semisolid aluminum slurries at high solid fractions (0.5 to 1.0), and a cone penetration method was employed to measure yield stress at low solid fractions (<0.5). A functional relationship between yield stress and temperature/solid fraction has been established for these alloys. The effect of the processing route on the resultant yield stress of the material in the semisolid state was studied by evaluating commercial A356 billets manufactured via magnetohydrodynamic stirring, grain refining, and UBE'S new rheocasting (NRC) processes, respectively. Detailed microstructure observations and image analyses reveal that the difference in yield-stress values among the alloys evaluated is intricately related to the semisolid structure. At a given solid fraction, the yield stress of semisolid slurries depends on microstructural indices (i.e., entrapped-liquid content, shape factor of the alpha phase, and the alpha particle size). In addition, numerical simulation results indicate that the finite yield stress of semisolid metals plays a significant role in determining the flow pattern during die filling. Depending on processing conditions, five distinct filling patterns (shell, disk, mound, bubble, and transition) have been identified and confirmed through experimental observations. Recent simulations demonstrate that the finite yield stress is also responsible for flow instabilities encountered in commercial forming operations, such as "toothpaste behavior." Specifically, most flow instabilities can be avoided by properly controlling processing parameters and the initial semisolid microstructure. A stability map that provides a control guide for semisolid processing has been developed and is presented.





First Page Number


Last Page Number




Publisher Statement

Copyright 2004, ASM International. This paper was published in Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B-Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science Vol. 35 Iss. 6 pp. 1187-1202 and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of, ASM International. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplications of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of this paper are prohibited.