Developing a fast-ageing treatment can significantly reduce the current processing time (180 °C × 9 h) of high strength AA6082 automotive components. In this study, a fast ageing treatment in supersaturated solid solution state was developed, such that the mechanical properties can be rapidly achieved after the paint bake (PB) treatment through introducing a pre-ageing (PA) treatment. The determined fast ageing method considered effects of temperature & time, heating rate and subsequent PB on the ageing response. Tensile tests and TEM observations of typical conditions were undertaken to examine evolved strength and precipitate distribution. Results showed that 210 °C was the optimum pre-ageing temperature as uniformly sized and distributed small precipitates were obtained. The final strength of about 280 MPa, that is 95% of the nominal strength for T6 temper, can be obtained within 15 min soaking for fast heating, and nearly this value for slow heating. More prolific nucleation occurred during slow heating, resulting in more finely distributed precipitates and a higher strengthening. It was observed that PB further increased the strength of over-aged alloy pre-aged at a high temperature of 240 °C. The subsequent PB enabled further nucleation of small clusters and growth of the pre-ageing-induced precipitates which were smaller than 20 nm. This resulted in an improvement in the material strength potentially to satisfy the safety requirements in automotive industry.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Alloys and Compounds|
|Publication status||Published - 25 Nov 2019|