A new supplier for aluminum die castings was being evaluated, and the castings failed to meet the durability test requirements. Specifically, the fatigue life of the castings was low. Initial inspection of the fatigue fracture surfaces revealed large-scale porosity visible to the naked eye. New castings with reduced porosity also failed the durability tests. The fatigue fracture surfaces of additional casting fragments were very rough and contained multiple ratchet marks along the inner fillet. These observations indicated the fatigue process was heavily influenced by the presence of surface imperfections. Improving the surface finish or choosing a stronger alloy, were more likely to improve part durability than reducing the porosity.
D. Aliya, Assessing the Durability of Aluminum Castings, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Processing Errors and Defects, ASM International, 2019, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.process.c9001640
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