The paper presents results of a study concerning an AlSi7Mg alloy and the effect of subjecting the liquid metal to four different processes: conventional refining with hexachloroethane; the same refining followed by modification with titanium, boron, and sodium; refining by purging with argon carried out in parallel with modification with titanium and boron salts and strontium; and parallel refining with argon and modification with titanium, boron, and sodium salts. The effect of these four processes on compactness of the material, parameters of microstructure, and fatigue strength of AlSi7Mg alloy after heat treatment. It has been found that the highest compactness (the lowest porosity ratio value) and the most favorable values of the examined parameters of microstructure were demonstrated by the alloy obtained with the use of the process including parallel purging with argon and modification with salts of titanium, boron, and sodium. It has been found that in the fatigue cracking process observed in all the four variants of the liquid metal treatment, the crucial role in initiation of fatigue cracks was played by porosity. Application of the process consisting in refining by purging with argon parallel to modification with Ti, B, and Na salts allowed to refine the microstructure and reduce significantly porosity of the alloy extending thus the time of initiation and propagation of fatigue cracks. The ultimate effect consisted in a distinct increase of the fatigue limit value.
The paper deals with the effect of microstructure diversified by means of variable cooling rate on service properties of AlSi7Mg cast alloy refined traditionally with Dursalit EG 281, grain refining with titanium-boron and modified with sodium and a variant of the same alloy barbotage-refined with argon and simultaneously grain refining with titanium-boron and modified with strontium. For both alloy variants, the castings were subject to T6 thermal treatment (solution heat treatment and artificial aging). It turned out that AlSi7Mg alloy after simultaneous barbotage refining with argon and grain refining with titanium-boron and modified with strontium was characterised with lower values of representative microstructure parameters (SDAS – secondary dendrite arm spacing, λE, lmax) and lower value of the porosity ratio compared to the alloy refined traditionally with Dursalit EG 281 and grain refining with titanium-boron and modified with sodium. The higher values of mechanical properties and fatigue strength parameters were obtained for the alloy simultaneously barbotagerefined with argon and grain refining with titanium-boron and modified with strontium.