The forging characteristics of an Al–Cu–Mg–Si–Sn alloy are examined using a new testing strategy which incorporates a double truncated cone specimen and finite element modelling. This sample geometry produces controlled strain distributions within a single specimen and can readily identify the specific strain required to achieve a specific microstructural event by matching the metallographic data with the strain profiles calculated from finite element software. The friction conditions were determined using the conventional friction ring test, which was evaluated using finite element software. The rheological properties of the alloy, evaluated from compression testing of right cylinders, are similar to the properties of conventional aluminium forgings. A hoop strain develops at the outer diameter of the truncated cones and this leads to pore opening at the outer few millimetres. The porosity is effectively removed when the total strain equals the net compressive strain. The strain profiles that develop in the truncated cones are largely independent of the processing temperature and the strain rate although the strain required for pore closure increases as the forging temperature is reduced. This suggests that the microstructure and the strain rate sensitivity may also be important factors controlling pore behaviour.
- Powder forging
- Pore closure