Critical analysis of simulated thermomechanical processing of aluminium can body stock

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Hot Plane Strain Compression (PSC) testing is a thermomechanical testing method used to simulate the deformation condition of industrial rolling. Thermomechanical processing (TMP) factors such as the amount of strain, strain rate and temperature all influence the microstructural evolution. The geometry of the PSC test sample and anvil are important factors in order to achieve the plane strain condition and acceptable strain distribution within deformed sample. Geometrical factors such as the breadth ratio (BR) relates the the samples breadth (b) to anvils face width (w) and this ratio has a significant effect on the breadth spread of the sample. The height ratio (HR) relates w to the samples height (h) and this ratio has a significant effect on the strain distribution. Two different geometric PSC testing configurations were investigated for this study, the one configuration had less favourable geometric ratios with a BR of 3 and a HR of 1 and the other configuration had more favourable ratios, with the BR of 4.62 and the HR of 1.3. This investigation is to evaluate the feasibility of a newly installed TMP machinery, the Gleeble 3800, to simulate the hot finishing rolling conditions by the use of hot PSC tests for the production of the can body stock (CBS) aluminium alloy AA3104. Single hot PSC tests were carried out at temperatures of 300, 350 and 400 ⁰C at strain rates of 10, 30 and 100 sec-1 and multi-pass hot PSC tests were carried out to simulate the different rolling passes experienced on the hot finishing rolling mill of the production of the aluminium alloy AA3104. The strain rate, temperature control, flow stress and microstructural flow were investigate to establish whether PSC testing is feasible on the Gleeble 3800.