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Quench Sensitivity Test Method for Aluminum Extrusion Alloys

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Quench Sensitivity Test Method for Aluminum Extrusion Alloys

Elizabeth D. Sweet, Benjamin R. Harker, Xinquan Zhang, and Malcolm J. Couper Rio Tinto Aluminium Technology, Melbourne, Australia

Track: EXTRUSION/DIE, PRACTICAL - Quench and Temper

ABSTRACT --- Quench sensitivity refers to the variation in properties of an alloy
with different post extrusion cooling rates. Properties generally decrease when
cooling rate is reduced, especially for higher strength alloys. Quench sensitivity
is usually determined by comparing properties using discrete quench methods –
still air, fans, water mist/spray, and water deluge. In this study, a test method was
developed which provides a continuous set of hardness results over a wide range
of cooling rates. Extrusion samples from various 6xxx series alloys were solution
treated, quenched with one end in water and the other in still air, then artificially
aged and the hardness measured along the length. The respective cooling rates
were determined using a series of embedded thermocouples. Using this method,
the minimum cooling rate to achieve a given property level can be determined. It
provides a simple, off-line characterization of quench sensitivity, potentially
useful for alloy design, alloy selection, and extrusion press optimization.

© 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.