The high mechanical properties of the Al-Li-X alloys contribute to their increasingly broad application in aeronautics, as an alternative forthe aluminium alloys, which have been used so far. The aluminium-lithium alloys have a lower specific gravity, a higher nucleation andcrack spread resistance, a higher Young’s module and they characterize in a high crack resistance at lower temperatures. The aim of theresearch planned in this work was to design an aluminium alloy with a content of lithium and other alloy elements. The research includedthe creation of a laboratorial melt, the microstructure analysis with the use of light microscopy, the application of X-ray methods to identify the phases existing in the alloy, and the microhardness test.
The paper presents the research results of the influence of the precipitation hardening on hardness and microstructure of selected Al-Si and Al-Cu alloys obtained as 30 mm ingots in a horizontal continuous casting process. The ingots were heat treated in process of precipitation hardening i.e. supersaturation with subsequent accelerated or natural ageing. Moreover in the range of the study it has been carried out investigations of chemical constitution, microscopic metallographic with use of scanning electron microscope with EDS analysis system, and hardness measurements using the Brinell method. On basis of obtained results it has been concluded that the chemical constitution of the investigated alloys enables to classify them into Al alloys for the plastic deformation as EN AW-AlSi2Mn (alternatively cast alloy EN AC-AlSi2MgTi) and as EN AW-AlCu4MgSi (alternatively cast alloy EN AC-AlCu4MgTi) grades. Moreover in result of applied precipitation hardening has resulted in the precipitation from a supersaturated solid solution of dispersive particles of secondary phases rich in alloying element i.e. Si and Cu respectively. In consequence it has been obtained increase in hardness in case of AlSi2Mn alloy by approximately 30% and in case of AlCu4MgSi alloy by approximately 20% in comparison to the as-cast state of continuous ingots.
One type of spheroidal cast iron, with additions of 0.51% Cu and 0.72% Ni, was subjected to precipitation hardening. Assuming that the greatest increase in hardness after the shortest time of ageing is facilitated by chemical homogenisation and fragmentation of cast iron grain matrix, precipitation hardening after pre-normalisation was executed. Hardness (HB), microhardness (HV), qualitative and quantitative metalographic (LM, SEM) and X-ray structural (XRD) tests were performed. The acquired result of 13.2% increase in hardness after ca. 5-hour ageing of pre-normalised cast iron confirmed the assumption.
The results of studies of W-Ni-Co-Fe experimental alloy, with chemical composition assuring a possibility of producing Ni-based supersaturated solid solution are presented. The alloy was prepared from tungsten, nickel, cobalt and iron powders which were first mixed then melted in a ceramic crucible where they slowly solidified in hydrogen atmosphere. Next specimens were cut from the casting and heated at a temperature 950o C. After solution treatment the specimens were water quenched and then aged for 20 h at a temperature 300o C. The specimens were subjected to microhardness measurements and structure investigations. The latter included both conventional metallography and SEM observations. Moreover, for some specimens X-ray diffractometry studies and TEM investigations were conducted. It was concluded that quenching lead to an increase of tungsten concentration in nickel matrix which was confirmed by Ni lattice parameter increase. Aging of supersaturated solid solution caused strengthening of the Ni-based matrix, which was proved by hardness measurements. The TEM observation did not yield explicit proofs that the precipitation process could be responsible for strengthening of the alloy.