Recently Completed Projects
These have included the following:
Heat Treatment of Aluminium alloys.
Traditional heat treatments of aluminium castings involving a water quench seem designed to pre-stress the casting and thus contribute to the failure of the casting in service. Work has investigated other heat treatment methods to provide the required mechanical properties without introducing stresses or other adverse effects. It has been shown that ageing heat treatment of cast Al - 4.5 Cu - Ag alloys can produce tensile strengths of 500 MPa combined with a 10% elongation to failure.
A number of projects have been carried out to study the role of inoculation on the mechanisms of the nucleation and growth of graphite in cast irons, particularly SG irons. Extensive metallography (mainly SEM) and computer modelling of phase diagrams has led to new insights into the complex sequence of events which occurs in molten iron during the spherodisation and inoculation treatments which ultimately control the structure and properties of these materials.
Titanium in cast irons.
An EC-funded CRAFT project has re-evaluated the effects of titanium (introduced from steel scrap) on the structure, properties and machinability of ductile irons, including Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI).
Flow defects in cast irons.
A detailed study of the flow of cast iron in greensand moulds using real-time radiography and computer modelling has recently been completed. This has established the causes of flow defects in commercial chilled grey iron castings.