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Retrogression Heat Treatment as a Means of Improving Formability

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Retrogression Heat Treatment as a Means of Improving Formability of Aluminum Extrusions

Joseph C. Benedyk, Illinois Institute of Technology, Thermal Processing Technology Center

Track: VALUE-ADDED PROCESSES - Metal Forming

ABSTRACT --- Retrogression heat treatment (RHT) used for improving
formability of aluminum extrusions is defined as a means of rapidly heat treating
6xxx and 7xxx aluminum alloy extrusions in various tempers, either locally or
throughout their length, in order to return to or approach their highly ductile state
in their solutionized and freshly quenched state. For these extrusions in some
tempers, i.e., T4, T5, T6, and even T7, T8, and T9 tempers, RHT involves
heating into the solvus temperature range and quenching. Unlike conventional
solutionizing heat treatments that involve long times, RHT can be conducted
within a matter of seconds and can be synchronized with a given forming
operation. Several commercial applications of RHT processing of aluminum
extrusions have already demonstrated the technical and economical advantages
of this useful heat treatment. Realizing the benefits of RHT in the forming of
aluminum extrusions, the process has also found application in the forming of
heat treated automotive sheet.

© 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.