The Effect of Casting Speed and the Fraction of Al5%Ti1%B Inoculant on the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of the AA5052 Aluminum Alloy Produced by the Direct Chill Process

This study aimed to assess the effect of casting speed and the addition of Al5%Ti1%B inoculant in the casted AA5052 aluminum alloy plate manufactured by the Direct Chill process. The focus of this work was to decrease the rejection index of rolled products due to the occurrence of superficial flaws on plates. These defects impact directly on the production costs and on the rolled product quality. The main cause of those flaws is associated with the billet porosity that is related with the excess of atomic hydrogen incorporated into the metallic bath and with the metal shrinkage during solidification. Four different cast conditions were industrially tested, combining two casting speeds and two inoculants amounts. The effect of those variables on the alloy mechanical properties and on their performance in rolling process was also assessed. It was observed that the higher the casting speed and the inoculant fraction, the more refined the microstructure and the lower the fraction and diameter of formed micropores. The increase of casting speed and the inoculant fraction improved the AA5052 alloy rolling performance. The application of these results in an industrial scale performed a decrease from 5.03% to 0.39% per month in the rejection index of rolled products.