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Modeling the Extrusion Process and the Microstructure Evolution

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Modeling the Extrusion Process and the Microstructure Evolution for
Hot Extrusion of 3xxx Aluminum Alloys

Yahya Mahmoodkhani, Mary A. Wells, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada,
Nick Parson, Rio Tinto Alcan, Jonquière, QC, Canada,
Lina Grajales, Warren J. Poole, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Track: EXTRUSION/DIE THEORETICAL - Modeling, Microstructure and Simulation

ABSTRACT—A combination of numerical simulations using the commercial finite element
method (FEM), package DEFORM1 and experiments were used to study the microstructure
changes during the hot extrusion process for 3xxx aluminum alloys. Extrusion plant trials were
conducted at the Rio Tinto Alcan Research and Development facility in Jonquière, Québec, to
measure load and temperature, and to obtain samples for microstructure analysis. A 2-D axisymmetric
FEM model was developed for the thermo-mechanical simulation of the round bar
extruded from the starting billet. Load and temperature predictions from this model agreed well
with the measured values. The distribution of stored energy in the extruded material was
estimated from center to surface of the extrudate, using the thermal mechanical history for the
predicted flow lines. Considering the Zener pining pressure to be a threshold value of stored
energy as one criterion for occurrence of recrystallization, predictions were made for whether
recrystallization would be observed or not after extrusion. The grain structure for different
locations in the extruded samples was studied by optical microscopy for different industrial
homogenization and extrusion conditions, and compared to stored energy and microstructure
predictions. Keywords: Extrusion, aluminum alloys, microstructure, Finite Element Method,
3xxx aluminum alloys, DEFORM-2D, Homogenization.

© Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation (ET Foundation). All rights reserved. No part of The Proceedings may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the ET Foundation.