It is safe to say that aluminum casting possesses numerous wonderful qualities. For instance, its resistance to corrosion is phenomenal, it has excellent welding characteristics, and it is considered highly durable and reliable. However, when a certain kind of aluminum alloy is used in the casting process, the results can be noteworthy.
This guide talks about A356 aluminum alloy, a popular material used in aluminum gravity casting to create cast aluminum parts. A356 aluminum alloy is usually used in the casting of charge pipes, pump housing, aircraft parts, high-velocity blowers, impellers, and structural castings where a lot of strength is required.
A356 Aluminum Casting: What is It?
Simply put, A356 refers to a non-die-cast aluminum alloy. It is widely used for structural, intensive parts and has good elongation. In this, the Fe element is present as an impurity, and its content impacts the elongation of aluminum castings. When the Fe content is too high, the aluminum castings tend to become more brittle.
The Fe content of A356 aluminum casting is not more than 0.2%, and the Fe content of A356 aluminum ingot is not more than 0.12%. However, the die-casting process requires a particular amount of Fe content, at least 0.5% or more.
The Fe content of aluminum alloy used explicitly in the die-casting process is high, and the Fe content of many die-casting alloys is around 0.5 to 1%. On the other hand, the low Fe content of A356 aluminum will result in stickiness and demolding throughout the casting process.
Thus, it can be concluded that A356 aluminum alloy is primarily suited for gravity die casting and sand-casting processes. For die casting, A380 aluminum alloy is more widely used.
Aluminum gravity castings composed of the A356 aluminum alloy can be useful in achieving numerous benefits such as hot tearing resistance, good wear and tear, excellent weldability, corrosion resistance, and a high strength-to-weight ratio.
Hence, A356 aluminum castings are prevalent across the avionics and automotive industries.
A356 Aluminum Casting of a Charge Pipe
A356 aluminum alloy is popularly used in the aluminum gravity casting process to create cast aluminum parts. In various applications, aluminum sand casting is poured into A356 aluminum alloy and then heat-treated or machined.
Due to its low impurity levels, the A356 aluminum alloy has higher ductility and strength than other alloys. A356 aluminum castings are also relatively more expensive. Still, they can be ideal for heavy-strength machine parts, chassis, and structural parts requiring pressure tightness or high strength.
A great example of this is a charge pipe, a piece of hardware used to boost an engine’s performance and power.
What is a Charge Pipe?
A charge pipe is a vital component in an engine that assists in the route of exhaust from the engine via a turbocharger. A charge pipe enables the engines to perform better and more efficiently.
Apart from this, the charge pipe also reduces the pressure loss of turbocharged air. Other than this, they also substantially increase the airflow from the turbo to the intercooler.
A charge pipe is typically designed to tolerate the robust pressures associated with its use. As a result, it is further strengthened with metal or composite metals to add to its durability and strength.
They are commonly made from metal castings such as stainless steel casting or aluminum casting. However, they can also be made from other materials, such as plastics or composites.
However, with the help of A356 aluminum casting, the charge pipes will not flex under high boost pressure as it strengthens the locking clip junction, ensuring that the pipe doesn’t get damaged, disfigured, or rendered inoperable under boost.
Furthermore, here are some of the most noteworthy characteristics of A356 aluminum alloy that make it a great choice for the aluminum casting of charge pipes:
- A356 aluminum casting possesses excellent weldability.
- The mechanical properties of A365 aluminum casting are outstanding, mainly if its heat treated.
- As the levels of impurities present are low, it results in A365 aluminum casting becoming strong and ductile.
Heat Treatment of A356 Aluminum Castings
A356 aluminum casting undergoes two kinds of heat treatments, such as T5 and T6, which improve its strength and durability.
T5 Heat Treatment Process
The T5 treatment is a much simpler option in which the aluminum extracted from the extruder air cools naturally. After this, they are synthetically aged in temperature ovens at extremely low temperatures.
With the help of the T5 treatment, the cast formed has a hardness of 8 – 12 with regard to the Webster Hardness Scale.
T6 Heat Treatment Process
T6 heat treatment of A356 aluminum castings is much more complex because it follows a 2-step process. The A356 aluminum castings are first allowed to cool on their own and then heated in temperature ovens at extremely high temperatures.
After some time passes, the castings need to be swiftly quenched before moving to low-temperature ovens for the second step. The T6 heat treatment increases hardness and other mechanical properties, which most applications typically call for.
The benefits of the T6 process exceed those of T5. The casting derived has an increased hardness level 0f 12 – 15 on the Webster Hardness Scale and other mechanical properties for the casting.
Benefits of A356 Aluminum Casting of Charge Pipes
After discussing its properties and characteristics in detail, it has become more obvious that the A356 aluminum alloy is the ideal component for the aluminum casting of charge pipes. As there is a presence of tight tolerances in A365 aluminum alloy, it allows the charge pipes to have excellent accuracy.
Not just this, but the charge pipes have a much smoother surface. Also, the mechanical properties of A356 aluminum, such as tensile strength, enable the charge pipes to be of superior quality. The better the quality of the charge pipes, the longer they will function and last, resulting in satisfied users.
Furthermore, insertable sand core parts can be pre-formed and used to generate reverse draft interior pockets. Moreover, as fewer production steps and a simpler apparatus are present in the process, the A356 aluminum casting results in lesser production times and hence a quicker turnaround, resulting in faster production of charge pipes.
Finally, the proper molds result in a consistent and dependable quality of A356 aluminum castings, which is an integral part of the charge pipes.
Why Choose Us?
The properties of A356 aluminum casting are so versatile that it can easily be used to fulfill various needs. The fact that A356 has excellent castability makes it all the more understandable why it’s a logical choice for complex and intricate castings where pressure tightness, lightweight, and excellent mechanical properties are required.
Suffice to say CFS Foundry takes great pride in providing premium quality A356 aluminum casting for not just charge pipes but for other industries as well.
As we use numerous and different aluminum casting processes to fulfill a substantial range of product demands, our reputation in the market is positive and well appreciated. We are currently in a good position to produce and supply high-quality parts, be it the simplest or most complex.
A356 Aluminum castings of charge pipes are lightweight and resilient to corrosion. By using the different techniques to generate A356 aluminum castings, such as the heat treatment methods, it is safe to say that we have a considerable amount of expertise and flexibility in the many areas of geometry, tolerances, and finishes.
CFS Foundry gives a lot of importance to having satisfied and happy customers. From the creation to the final application, we provide the customers with all the help and information they need. Rest assured, we are here to assist you in achieving all your aluminum casting needs, regardless of whatever it is.