Mechanical properties and microstructural evaluation of heat-treated aluminum alloy using formulated bio-quenchants


Heat treatment industries require various quenching media to improve the properties of the materials to be quenched. Petroleum based mineral (PBM) oil, a non-biodegradable oil, is popular amongst others quenchants in heat treatment processes. Recently, biodegradable oils mostly in their raw, unblended and unbleached forms have been employed for quenching of various engineering materials. Therefore, the present study examined the effects of some selected bio-quenchants in blended raw (BR) and blended bleached (BB) forms on the mechanical properties and microstructure of solution heat treated aluminum (Al)-alloy. Edible vegetable oil (70% by volume) was blended with 30% by volume of jatropha oil to form the bio-quenchant oils. Another set of bio-quenchants were formed by bleaching the raw oils before mixing so as to reduce the oxidation level and contaminations in the oil. The Al-alloy is solution heat treated at 500 °C and soaked for 15 min in an electric muffle furnace before quenching in the various established bio-quenchants. Results showed that samples treated in blended raw melon (BRM) oil have higher tensile strength of 151.76 N/mm2 while samples quenched in blended bleached melon (BBM) oil have higher hardness value of 61.00 HRC. In accordance to the results obtained the bio-quenchants were found to be effective replacement to the PBM oil.

aluminum alloy, bio-quenchant, mechanical properties, microstructure, solution heat treatment