Journal article

Determination of Coherency and Rigidity Temperatures in Al-Cu Alloys Using In Situ Neutron Diffraction During Casting

The rigidity temperature of a solidifying alloy is the temperature at which the solid phase is sufficiently coalesced to transmit tensile stress. It is a major input parameter in numerical modeling of solidification processes as it defines the point at which thermally induced deformations start to generate internal stresses in a casting. This temperature has been determined for an Al-13 wt.% Cu alloy using in situ neutron diffraction during casting in a dog-bone-shaped mold. This setup allows the sample to build up internal stress naturally as its contraction is not possible. The cooling on both sides of the mold induces a hot spot at the middle of the sample that is irradiated by neutrons. Diffraction patterns are recorded every 11 s using a large detector, and the very first change of diffraction angles allows for the determination of the rigidity temperature. We measured rigidity temperatures equal to 557C and 548C depending on the cooling rate for grain refined Al-13 wt.% Cu alloys. At a high cooling rate, rigidity is reached during the formation of the eutectic phase. In this case, the solid phase is not sufficiently coalesced to sustain tensile load and thus cannot avoid hot tear formation.

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