Homogenization, in a broad sense, refers to processes designed to achieve uniform distribution of solutes or phases in a given matrix. This article addresses the root cause for inhomogeneities in cast components. It is nearly standard industrial practice to homogenize alloys before thermomechanical processing. The article lists objectives of homogenization and benefits of homogenization treatments. The benefits include increased resistance to pitting corrosion, increased resistance to stress-corrosion cracking, improved ductility, and uniform precipitate distribution during subsequent aging. The article provides a schematic illustration of energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscope (EDS) scattered data of solute distributions across a dendrite due to microsegregation of chromium and molybdenum. It concludes with a section on computational modeling for simulation of microsegregation of chromium and molybdenum.
This article provides an overview of heat treatment processes, namely, solution heat treatment, quenching, and natural and artificial aging. It contains a table that lists various heat treatment tempers commonly practiced for nonferrous castings. The article describes microstructural changes that occur due to the heat treatment of cast alloys.