Infoscience

Conference paper

INTERNAL STRESS GENERATION DURING QUENCHING OF THICK HEAT TREATABLE ALUMINIUM ALLOYS

In the current trend toward thicker aluminium plates, a major concern is the stress build-up during quenching which causes distortions during machining. Indeed, cooling rates are not high enough, especially at the core of such thick plates, to prevent any precipitation and quench induced precipitates lower the hardening potential. Multi-scale modelling is required when predicting macro-scale stresses after quenching for thick heat treatable aluminium components. The reason is the instantaneous strong coupling between phase precipitation at the nano-scale and material hardening due to precipitation or softening owing to solute depletion at the microscale. For thick parts, quenching intensities decrease when going from the skin to the core of the component, thus introducing a gradient of nanostructure and consequently a gradient of mechanical properties. In addition, large thermally induced deformations lead to high macroscale residual stresses although part of them is relaxed by plastic deformation. These stresses have been measured in water quenched thick plates of 7040 and 7449 aluminium alloys using neutron diffraction and layer removal techniques and the results when compared with a thermomechanical finite element model of quenching highlight the influence of precipitation

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