A new tensile test for aluminum alloys in the mushy state: Experimental method and numerical modeling
A fairly simple experimental setup has been designed for testing the resistance of the mushy zone of alloys during solidification under tensile conditions. It has been used to study the effect of coalescence among the solid grains at a late stage of solidification. The experimental approach involves both tensile-strength measurements and scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations of fracture surfaces. Complementary information can be obtained by numerical modeling of this solidification process. The latter takes into account heat flow in the sample, rheology of the mushy alloy, liquid feeding, and porosity formation. All of the available information indicates that the transition from a granular mushy alloy to a coalesced solid skeleton behavior starts for a solid fraction of approximately 92 pct.