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Title: Characterisation of casting defects in DC cast magnesium alloys
Author: Mackie, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 6416
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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The continued interest in the use of magnesium alloys for new applications demand the successful production of high quality wrought alloys. Magnesium Elektron seek to reliably produce high quality alloy billets by the DC casting method combined with ultrasonic inspection. The main objectives of this study are to characterize the defects which are currently found in the material and to understand the ability of the ultrasonic inspection technique currently employed to detect the defects. This study began by locating defects using the ultrasonic inspection method which were then characterised using X-ray Computed Tomography (XCT) 3D imaging technique. Attempts were then made to understand and simulate the mechanisms by which the defects form during the casting process. The simulations were used to investigate the flow patterns during casting and the growth kinetics of the intermetallic phase. The initial phase of this research established that the defects found comprised of an entrained oxide film entangled with an abundance of intermetallic phase particles. These defects were found to be present in the size range of 0.5 – 5 mm, and were deleterious to the materials mechanical properties. Greater understanding of the ultrasonic inspection process was achieved and informed improvements to assisting the production of high quality feedstock. Simulation of the formation of the defects indicated that there was a region in which the oxide films could form and be free to enter into the final cast product. Simulation of the growth of the intermetallic particles demonstrated that precipitation from the liquid occurs in the mould during which particles are carried by the melt flow and experiences a complex thermal history. The combination of the two phases was established to be due to entanglement of the oxide and particles which when combined will settle out of the melt as a single defect. Improved filtering and melt handling methods were recommended to eliminate the defects and reliably produce high quality alloys.
Supervisor: Robson, Joseph; Withers, Philip Sponsor: Magnesium Elektron
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DC Casting ; AZ80 ; X-Ray Tomography ; Magnesium Alloys