Influence of homogenization preceding to cold-rolling on the microstructure of the AA-3003

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Gennifer Aparicio-Carrillo
Marco Ciaccia-Sortino
Ricardo Jerez G.


The aluminum alloy AA3003 produced by a direct chill continuous casting process has a microstructure that significantly affects its potential use in engineering applications. This work studies the effects of the homogenizing heat treatment on the microstructure of AA3003 with cold working. Six conditions were studied, combining the variables initial condition (with and without homogenizing) and amount of cold working. All conditions were evaluated by means of optical and scanning electron microscopy, in combination with backscattered electrons and energy dispersive X ray spectroscopy techniques. Results suggest that for both initial conditions, the secondary phases present are Al6(Mn,Fe) and ?-Al(Mn,Fe)Si, which vary in number, size, and shape. The homogenization caused the dissolution and precipitation of dispersoids, in addition to the spheroidization of primary particles, and minor variation of the size of secondary particles during cold working. Secondary phases are composed of primary and secondary particles, which differ in their Fe and Mn content, resulting in a lower Mn/Fe ratio for the primary particles (0,57 for the as?received condition and 0,80 for the homogenized condition), whereas the dispersoids have a higher Mn/Fe ratio (1,56 after the homogenization). Homogenization increased ductility and reduced the likelihood of cracking during cold working. This was evidenced by the results obtained for strength, hardness, and ductility.