Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Semi-solid metal processing has been known for many years to have several benefits that could change the way the industry produces metal parts. The focus of the exploitation of the technology in the early years has been on forming semi-solid metals by the thixocasting route. In the last decade, however, the focus has been shifted to a more cost effective and less complex forming route, called rheocast.
During the attempts to commercialize a rheocasting process in the die casting industry, it has been found that the needs to modify the current processes, machines, and dies have prevented prompt interests and collaborations from the industry. A new forming approach called semi-solid slurry forming has been applied. This process involves producing semi-solid slurries at a low solid fraction so that they can simply be poured into a shot sleeve. This publication covers a historical introduction to the subject and then moves to the formation of the slurry, its fundamentals and its practice. In addition forming processes are addressed as well as characteristics and benefits of the cast products. This publication also provides insight into the intimate relationship among processing, structure and properties, and also shows how relative processing costs influence processing route to be chosen.