Thin-Wall Aluminum Die Casting – Optimized Heat Treatment (Funded by LIFT)

Objectives of this project are to develop key process technologies (super vacuum die casting and optimized heat treatment) and integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) tools for 300 series (Al-Si-Cu-Mg based) die casting alloys to improve the mechanical properties, reduce the minimum wall thickness (up to 40%) and weight (up to 20%). Generally, in conventional high pressure die casting, gas in die cavity is difficult to escape and some will be entrapped in castings because of rapid die filling, forming pores under high pressure. These pores expand forming blisters and distorting the casting, making the castings non-heat treatable. The technology developed with super vacuum casting not only can improve die filling, producing castings with thinner walls, but also minimize entrapped gas, making castings heat treatable.