Casting porosity is the main factor influencing the fatigue properties of Al-Si alloys. Due to the increasing use of aluminum castings, porosity characterization is useful for estimating their fatigue strength. In principle, a combination of metallographic techniques and statistical pore analysis is a suitable approach for predicting the largest defect size that is critical for the casting. Here, the influence of modifiers and casting technology on the largest pore size population in AlSi7Mg alloy specimens is obtained and discussed adopting the Murakami's approach. However, porosity evaluation is a challenge in the case of microshrinkage pores, which are frequently found in industrial castings. Their complicated morphology prevents a reliable definition of an equivalent defect size based on metallographic techniques. This contribution reports the application of X-ray tomography to the 3D reconstruction of real pores in cast Al-Si alloys and provides insight into the complication of microshrinkage pore sizing by metallography.
The experimental material consisted of semi-finished products of high-grade, medium-carbon constructional steel with: manganese, chromium, nickel, molybdenum and boron. The experimental material consisted of steel products obtained in three metallurgical processes: electric and desulfurized (E), electric and desulfurized with argon-refined (EA) and oxygen converter with vacuum degassed of steel (KP). The production process involved two melting technologies: in a 140-ton basic arc furnace with desulphurisation and argon refining variants, and in a 100-ton oxygen converter. Billet samples were collected to analyze: relative volume of impurities, microstructure and fatigue tests. The samples were quenched and austenitized at a temperature of 880o C for 30 minutes. They were then cooled in water and tempered by holding the sections at a temperature of 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600o C for 120 minutes and air-cooled. Fatigue tests were performed with the use of a rotary bending machine at a frequency of 6000 cpm. The results were statistical processed and presented in graphic form. This paper discusses the results of microstructural analyses, the distribution of the relative volume of impurities in different size ranges, the fatigue strength characteristics of different production processes, the average number of sampledamaging cycles and the average values of the fatigue strength coefficient for various heat processing options.