• PM processing of elemental and prealloyed 6061 aluminium alloy with and without common lubricants and sintering aids.

      Youseffi, Mansour; Showaiter, N. (2006)
      A comparison has been made between compaction, sintering, microstructural and mechanical properties of the 6061 aluminium alloy prepared via premixed elemental (EL) and prealloyed (PA) powders (as received and degassed) with and without additions of sintering aids and various solid and/or liquid lubricants. Both EL and PA powders were cold pressed at different pressures, ranging from 250 to 770 MPa, and sintered under vacuum in the range 580-640°C for 30-120 min. and then under pure nitrogen atmosphere for comparison. Vacuum degassing of the PA powder provided better compressibility and thus higher green densities than those for the as received PA or the premixed EL powder compacts pressed at compaction pressures ¿340 MPa. Near full sintered densities of ~98%TD were obtained for both EL and PA 6061 Al alloys. Degassed PA Al with 0·6 wt-% paraffin wax (PW) or with only 0·12 wt-%Pb addition as sintering aid and no lubricant, and premixed EL with only 0·12 wt-%Pb addition and no lubricant gave the best optimum properties. It became apparent that additions of some solid lubricants such as lithium stearate (LS) and acrawax to both the premixed EL and PA powders provided reasonable green densities, but had deleterious effect on sintered densities and microstructures, particularly under vacuum sintering. Heating data curves during the sintering cycle, revealed formation of both transient and persistent liquid phases for the EL and mainly supersolidus liquid phase sintering (SLPS) mechanism for the PA. Tensile properties of the degassed, vacuum or nitrogen sintered PA Al alloy in T6 condition were higher than those of the equivalent alloy prepared by EL mixing with the former giving a tensile strength of 330 MPa and 6-8% elongation to failure, which are similar to those of the commercial (wrought) 6061 Al alloys.