2016 Volume 57 Issue 2 Pages 135-142
The aim of this research is to investigate the effects of the strain-induced melt activation (SIMA) process on the microstructure and particle erosion properties of 6066 Al-Mg-Si alloy. The erosion data of the SIMA-processed alloy were compared to those of the original extruded alloy (F) and a high-hardness artificially aged alloy (T6). The microstructure results show that spheroidized grains formed via the SIMA process. Globular and soft α-Al grains were surrounded by hard multi-element grain boundaries, creating a network structure. The erosion resistance of T6 was better than that of F at all impact angles due to the increase in hardness via artificial aging. The erosion resistance of the SIMA-processed alloy was higher than that of T6 at low impact angles. The SIMA process thus improves the low-angle erosion resistance of Al alloys. The hard and brittle grain boundaries of the SIMA-processed alloy protect soft grains from being destroyed by erosion particles at oblique impact. The low-angle erosion resistance decreases with spheroidized grain growth due to a decrease in the surface area of grain boundaries.