Stored elastic energy in aluminium alloy AA 6063 billets: residual stress measurements and thermomechanical modelling
Stress relief treatment before machining and sawing aluminium direct chill cast products is required to avoid uncontrolled distortion, crack formation and significant safety concerns due to the presence of thermally induced residual stresses created during casting. Numerical models have been developed to compute these residual stresses and yet have only been validated against measured surface distortions. In the present contribution, the variations in residual strains and stresses have been measured using neutron diffraction and hole drilling strain gage in two AA 6063 grain refined cylindrical billet sections cast at two casting speeds. The measured residual stresses compare favourably with the numerical model, in particular the depth at which the axial and hoop stresses change sign. Such results provide insight into the development of residual stresses within castings and show that the stored elastic energy varies linearly with the casting speed, at least within the range of speeds that correspond to production conditions.