Aluminum Science and Technology
Heat treatment of aluminum alloys frequently refers to the heat treatable aluminum alloys that can be strengthened by solution treatment, quenching, and subsequent hardening. This article introduces the general metallurgy of strengthening aluminum alloys by heat treatment. It discusses various heat treatable alloying elements, such as copper, chromium, iron, magnesium, silicon, zinc, and lithium. The article describes the age-hardening treatments and generalized precipitation sequence for aluminum alloys. It reviews the solution heat treatment in terms of solution heating time and temperature, as well as high-temperature oxidation. The article also discusses quench sensitivity, vacancy loss, grain-boundary precipitates, and quench delay for the heat treatment of aluminum. It concludes with a discussion on the deformation of aluminum alloys prior to aging.