The effect of homogenization conditions on microstructural evolution during hot rolling of AA3104 aluminium alloy
AA3104 aluminium alloy is used for the production of beverage can bodies. The material produce by Hulamin Rolled Products undergoes a specific homogenisation treatment prior to hot rolling. During homogenisation there is a critical phase change of intermetallic particles, from the softer ß-phase to the harder a-phase. Notwithstanding this critical microstructural feature evolution, there is also a formation of a dispersoid structure. These dispersoids are critical for particle stimulated nucleation later on in the production process.
This project aims to quantify the effect of homogenisation on the dispersoid structures by installing a secondary autoclave onto the current SiBut set-up at UCT, where dry butanol is used to dissolve the aluminium matrix, leaving behind the other phases. The secondary autoclave will contain a filtration system for the separation of the smaller dispersoids. At this stage the larger ?? and ?? intermetallic particles will be filtered out in the primary autoclave, thus leaving the fragmented intermetallics and the dispersoids to be captured in the secondary autoclave.
After characterisation of the effect of homogenisation practice on the dispersoid structures, samples will then undergo simulated hot rolling to investigate the effect of the homogenisation practice, and intermetallic and dispersoid structures, on the evolution of the microstructure after rough rolling and finish rolling. The evolution of the microstructure will include bulk texture analysis using XRD.