The purpose of the present work is to understand the microstructure development and, particularly, to control the progress of recrystallisation in hot strip in the Al-Mg-Mn alloy AA 5454, which is typically used for the manufacture of structural automotive components. The chemical composition, together with the thermomechanical processing history of this material, has a strong influence on the microstructure of the product and the resulting properties as it is supplied to the customer. Electrical conductivity measurements, thermal analysis and electron microscopy have been carried out to characterise the evolution of precipitation state at various stages in the processing route. The conditions of the homogenisation heat treatment have been varied, and the effect on subsequent recrystallisation after hot rolling has been evaluated in both the as cast and rough rolled condition by optical microscopy techniques. Results indicate that the conditions of homogenisation heat treatment and roughing rolling are critical for the generation of a suitable recrystallised microstructure in AA 5454 hot strip. A new two stage homogenisation practice has been developed to expedite post-rolling recrystallisation in this alloy.
- structural engineering