Abstract

Shear-based deformation processing by hybrid cutting-extrusion and free machining are used to make continuous strip, of thickness up to one millimeter, from low-workability AA6013-T6 in a single deformation step. The intense shear can impose effective strains as large as 2 in the strip without pre-heating of the workpiece. The creation of strip in a single step is facilitated by three factors inherent to the cutting deformation zone: highly confined shear deformation, in situ plastic deformation-induced heating and high hydrostatic pressure. The hybrid cutting-extrusion, which employs a second die located across from the primary cutting tool to constrain the chip geometry, is found to produce strip with smooth surfaces (Sa < 0.4 μm) that is similar to cold-rolled strip. The strips show an elongated grain microstructure that is inclined to the strip surfaces – a shear texture – that is quite different from rolled sheet. This shear texture (inclination) angle is determined by the deformation path. Through control of the deformation parameters such as strain and temperature, a range of microstructures and strengths could be achieved in the strip. When the cutting-based deformation was done at room temperature, without workpiece pre-heating, the starting T6 material was further strengthened by as much as 30% in a single step. In elevated-temperature cutting-extrusion, dynamic recrystallization was observed, resulting in a refined grain size in the strip. Implications for deformation processing of age-hardenable Al alloys into sheet form, and microstructure control therein, are discussed.

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