Thixoforming A201 aluminium alloy: is there a future in aerospace applications?
The alloy investigated in this study is the aluminium alloy A201; an important commercial alloy because of its
high mechanical properties, excellent machinability and good formability, shown to be suitable for semisolid
applications due to its wide solidification range.
Although this alloy is difficult to cast, it has a particularly high response to age-hardening and as a result
offers good mechanical properties, especially the near doubling of elongation values when thixoformed in the
T6 & T7 heat treated conditions, comparable with the values of wrought alloy 2014.
In addition, initial fatigue tests of thixoformed A201 specimens, using non-dendritic feedstock generated by the
rheocasting process, have yielded very promising results.
The paper looks into the microstructures of A201 feedstock derived from two different routes Rheocasting and
MHD) and compares and contrasts their suitability and potential for future thixoforming applications.