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Metals 2017, 7(5), 173; doi:10.3390/met7050173

Variable-Frequency Ultrasonic Treatment on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of ZK60 Alloy during Large Diameter Semi-Continuous Casting

Key Lab of Electromagnetic Processing of Materials, Ministry of Education, Northeastern University, 314 Mailbox, Shenyang 110819, China
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Academic Editor: Manoj Gupta
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
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Abstract

Traditional fixed-frequency ultrasonic technology and a variable-frequency ultrasonic technology were applied to refine the as-cast microstructure and improve the mechanical properties of a ZK60 (Mg–Zn–Zr) alloy during large diameter semi-continuous casting. The acoustic field propagation was obtained by numerical simulation. The microstructure of the as-cast samples was characterized by optical and scanning electron microscopy. The variable-frequency ultrasonic technology shows its outstanding ability in grain refinement compared with traditional fixed-ultrasonic technology. The variable-frequency acoustic field promoted the formation of small α-Mg globular grains and changed the distribution and morphology of β-phases throughout the castings. Ultimate tensile strength and elongation are increased to 280 MPa and 8.9%, respectively, which are 19.1% and 45.9% higher than the values obtained from billets without ultrasonic treatment and are 11.6% and 18.7% higher than fixed-frequency ultrasound treated billets. Different refinement efficiencies appear in different districts of billets attributed to the sound attenuation in melt. The variable-frequency acoustic field improves the refinement effect by enhancing cavitation-enhanced heterogeneous nucleation and dendrite fragmentation effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: magnesium alloy; semi-continuous casting; grain refinement; mechanical properties; ultrasonic treatment magnesium alloy; semi-continuous casting; grain refinement; mechanical properties; ultrasonic treatment
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Chen, X.; Le, Q.; Wang, X.; Liao, Q.; Chu, C. Variable-Frequency Ultrasonic Treatment on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of ZK60 Alloy during Large Diameter Semi-Continuous Casting. Metals 2017, 7, 173.

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