Effects of Oxide Fragments on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of AA6061 Aluminum Alloy Tube Fabricated by Thermomechanical Consolidation of Machining Chips

Zhen Zhang, Jiamiao Liang, Tian Xia, Yuehuang Xie, Sammy Lap Ip Chan, Jun Wang, Deliang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

An AA6061 aluminum alloy tube was fabricated by compacting machining chips via thermomechanical consolidation, including hot pressing and hot extrusion. The microstructure evolution and formation of oxide particles were investigated in correlation to tensile mechanical properties. It was found that fine Al/Mg oxide particles were formed due to the fracture of oxide layers on the chips and the reaction between Mg and Al2O3 during hot extrusion. The oxide particles inhibited the growth of recrystallized α-Al grains, leading to the formation of a microstructure consisting of coarse elongated grains with sizes of 420 μm and fine equiaxed grains with sizes of 10 μm. After T6 heat treatment, a microstructure with finer grains (grain sizes: 34 μm) formed due to further recrystallization induced by residual strain. The tensile mechanical properties testing results indicated that a good combination of strength (296 MPa) and ductility (7.6%) was achieved in the T6 heat treated samples, which were likely attributed to the high-quality inter-chip bonding, as well as the fine oxide particles which were small enough that further crack nucleation and growth around them were inhibited during tensile deformation. For the purpose of comparison, the microstructure and mechanical properties of the as-extruded and T6 heat treated samples produced by hot extrusion of the cast ingot of AA6061 aluminum alloy were also investigated. The lower tensile strength of solid-state recycled tube sample might be associated with the consumption of Mg atoms by the oxidation reaction, leading to the lower density of β″ precipitates in precipitation strengthening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1384
JournalMaterials
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • inter-chip bonding
  • recrystallization
  • solid-state recycling

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