SECAT Newsletter, Vol. 7, Issue 1

Aluminum WrapUp
Volume 7, Issue 1
Feb/March 2019

Secat News

New Employees at Secat!

Janet Cecil
Janet Cecil joined Secat as the Administrative Support Associate I in June 2018. Janet has worked in Administrative roles for more than 20 years. As part of Secat, Janet manages and distributes information within the office. Additionally, Janet handles all incoming and outgoing shipments with Secat’s customers and suppliers. Prior to joining Secat, Janet worked at Ashland Inc., the Valvoline Division, in Lexington, KY for 26 years. We are happy to have Janet as part of the Secat team.

Yan Jin
Yan Jin, Ph.D., joined Secat as a Materials Engineer in December 2018. He majored in Materials Science and Engineering during his undergraduate and graduate studies. In 2016, Dr. Jin obtained a Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Kentucky (UK) with a focus on the effects of microstructure and microtexture on multi-site fatigue crack nucleation of high strength aluminum alloys. After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Jin worked on an R&D project sponsored by General Motors as a Postdoctoral Scholar at UK, focusing on developing and validating a scratch adhesion test method for thermal sprayed coating on die cast aluminum alloys. Prior to joining Secat, Dr. Jin worked at X-wave Innovations, Inc. as a Research and Development Engineer with an emphasis on materials microstructure characterization and mechanical properties evaluation of additive manufactured lightweight alloys, such as Ti64 and Ni-based superalloys. Dr. Jin has auth
ored/co-authored 10 peer-reviewed research papers and delivered 5 presentations at international conferences. His work at Secat primarily relates to material characterization and process improvements of aluminum and its alloys with specific focus on aluminum billets and extrusions and failure analysis.

Secat Board of Directors News
Dr. Rudolph Buchheit, Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, was recently elected and named Vice Chairman of the Secat Board.
Todd Johnson was elected as Chairman, succeeding Randy Schumaker. 

Aluminum: Wrapped Up
 Training Course – Coming in April
Secat, Inc. will hold another session of
Aluminum Wrapped Up: A Basic Understanding of Aluminum
, at their facility in Lexington on April 11th
 Make plans now to attend! SPACE IS LIMITED! Use the link below to register.

You can learn more about us on Secat’s website

Tech Talk
Part I
(Part II will appear in Issue 2)
An experimental method was further developed to quantify the anisotropy of multi-site fatigue crack initiation behaviors in high strength Al alloys by four-point bend fatigue testing under stress control. In this method, fatigue crack initiation sites (fatigue weak-links, FWLs) were measured on the sample surface at different cyclic stress levels. The FWL density in an alloy could be best described using a three-parameter Weibull function of stress, though other types of sigmoidal functions might also be used to quantify the relationship between FWL density and stress. The strength distribution of the FWLs was derived from the Weibull function determined by fitting the FWLs vs. stress curve experimentally obtained. As materials properties, the FWL density and strength distribution could be used to evaluate the fatigue crack nucleation behaviors of engineering alloys quantitatively and the alloy quality in terms of FWL density and strength distribution. In this work, the effects of environment, types of microstructural heterogeneities and loading direction on FWLs were all studied in detail in AA7075-T651, AA2026-T3511, and A713 Al alloys, etc. It was also observed that FWLs should be quantified as a Weibull-type function of strain instead of stress, when the applied maximum cyclic stress exceeded the yield strength of the tested alloys.
In this work, four-point bend fatigue tests were conducted on the L-T (Rolling-Transverse), L-S (Rolling-Short transverse) and T-S planes of an AA7075-T651 alloy plate, respectively, at room temperature, 20 Hz, R=0.1, in air. The FWL populations, measured on these surfaces, were a Weibull-type function of the applied maximum cyclic stress, from which FWL density and strength distribution could be determined. The alloy showed a significant anisotropy of FWLs with the weak-link density being 11 mm-2, 15 mm-2 and 4 mm-2 on the L-T, L-S and T-S planes, respectively. Fatigue cracks were predominantly initiated at Fe-containing particles on the L-T and L-S planes, but only at Si-bearing particles on the T-S plane, profoundly demonstrating that the pre-fractured Fe-containing particles were responsible for crack initiation on the L-T and L-S planes, since the pre-fracture of these particles due to extensive deformation in the L direction during the prior rolling operation could only promote crack initiation when the sample was cyclically stressed in the L direction on both the L-T and L-S planes. The fatigue strengths of the L-T, L-S and T-S planes of the AA7075 alloy were measured to be 243.6, 273.0 and 280.6 MPa, respectively. The differences in grain and particle structures between these planes were responsible for the anisotropy of fatigue strength and FWLs on these planes.

Figure 1:
S-N curves of the samples in all metallic materials (L-T, L-S and T-S of AA7075-T651, A713, AA2026 and AA2099) by four-point bend fatigue.

Figure 2:
Crack population vs. applied maximum cyclic stress curves in L-T, L-S and T-S samples of AA7075-T651 Al alloy.

Figure 3:
Strength distributions of fatigue weak-links in L-T, L-S and T-S samples of AA7075-T651 Al alloy.

Figure 4:
Constituent particles in a L-T sample: (a) before and (b) after fatigue tests
L-S sample: (e) before and (f) after fatigue tests;
T-S sample: (g) before and (h) after fatigue tests
(c) Pre-fractured Fe-containing particle which does not lead to fatigue crack initiation in L-T samples; (d) a fatigue crack initiated from a pre-fractured Fe-containing particle in the L-T sample; (i) fatigue cracks initiated at Si-bearing particles in the T-S sample; cracks not necessarily initiated from coarser particles.

Secat Makes a Difference

Scholarship Motivates Engineering Student
Muhammad Javed, an Engineering student at the University of Kentucky (UK), the most recent recipient of Secat’s scholarship.
We asked Muhammad some questions regarding the scholarship and his future plans.
How did the Secat scholarship make a difference in your education and your plans for the future?
Being an out-of-state student is always challenging in terms of the tuition fee. However, the Secat Scholarship helped me relieve stress by covering my tuition fees by a significant amount and gave me a chance to complete my degree. It was like a dream come true when I received the letter from UK’s College of Engineering stating that I was awarded the Secat Scholarship. It not only motivated me to work harder than before, but also invoked an ambition in me to help other students in the future by helping them achieve their goals. 
What do you see as the most important aspect of a company like Secat that performs testing and R&D?
The most important aspect of this company (Secat) is that it is equipped with the most technologically advanced machines and testing equipment with highly-skilled employees who use their knowledge to solve problems and analyze the material effectively and efficiently. This company covers a broad range of research from different fields of study which is mechanical testing, material failure analysis, on-site melt quality, material characterization, chemical analysis and product and process modeling. This gives a chance for their customer to obtain a thorough data and analysis of the material with different points of view.
What is most exciting to you about the future of aluminum?
The most exciting thing for me about the future of aluminum is that since it can be easily recycled, many aerospace, automobile and electronic industries are expanding the use of this metal. It has also unique mechanical properties and can be alloyed with various other metals to configure the best microstructure according to the needs of its end use application.
What advice would you give a student who is interested in pursuing a career in the aluminum industry?
The advice that I would like to give to a student who is interested in pursuing a career in the aluminum industry is that there is still a lot to learn and understand about this metal. This industry has a huge scope in the future. It is important to understand how alloying aluminum with other metals and its tempering conditions can affect its grain structure and hence the mechanical properties. It is also important to research more about aluminum’s unique properties like good strength to weight ratio, corrosion resistance and unparalleled recyclability which can be useful for its application in different areas of manufacturing to make innovative products.
Be sure to watch for more educational opportunities in future issues of this newsletter and at

Featured Capabilities

Continuing Education is Key to Secat’s Role in the Industry

On September 26 and 27th, Secat hosted 25 attendees representing 14 different companies for the first session of
Aluminum Unwrapped – Fundamentals of Billet Casting.
This day and a half training course was designed for billet casthouse operators. Its purpose – to provide the necessary tools to improve the quality and efficiency of aluminum billet casting operations. Participants learned about best practices within the melting operation, metal transport systems, degassing systems, grain refining process, filtration and inclusion removal systems, DC billet casting operations, quality inspections, homogenization processes, and much more. Reference materials were provided as a resource for professionals working in the aluminum industry. Students were encouraged to bring questions and/or samples for discussion.
We spoke with Ricardo Sammy, the course instructor, about his experience and the Secat class.
Can you give us a quick view of your background?
I am a Metallurgical Engineer with over 36 years of professional experience in the Aluminum industry. Throughout my career, I have worked for many aluminum companies and have held various responsibilities. These include: Alcoa, at both operational and at R&D, Alussuise, Kaiser Aluminum, Hydro Aluminum, Almex, TST Inc., and others. I have contributed to many joint patent awards in the areas of DC casting, metal treatment, filtration and alloying of aluminum alloys. I have developed numerous training programs in casthouse operations and processes. I have provided technical consultation, process training and metallurgical assistance to over 40 locations in North America and throughout the globe: including Europe, South East Asia, Asia, Africa and South America. I am currently working as independent technical consultant providing technical services to the casthouse, die-casting and foundry industry.
Have you taught this type of class before?
Yes, I have taught this type of class and provided training to over 4,000 people throughout United States and the world.
What was different about the Secat experience?
Secat provided the opportunity to address an audience of various backgrounds and from a multitude of aluminum companies, all in one room.
Why would you recommend this training for individuals in the industry?
The training is designed to meet the knowledge needs and fundamentals associated with the day-to-day operation of a DC casting facility.
Be sure to watch for more educational opportunities in future issues of this newsletter and at

Person of Interest

Robert G. Buchheit
Professor of Chemical & Materials Engineering
Dean of the College of Engineering
University of Kentucky
Rudolph G. Buchheit is Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Kentucky (UK). Prior to his appointment at UK, he was Professor and Chair in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and later, Associate Dean in the College of Engineering. He was a Senior Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories until joining the Faculty at Ohio State. He earned a BS at Loyola University Maryland, and MS and PhD in Materials Science from the University of Virginia. His research focuses on corrosion science and engineering with emphasis on corrosion, corrosion protection and corrosion prediction of light metals. He has published over 270 technical articles on these subjects with students and colleagues, and holds 18 patents and patent disclosures related to surface treatments and coatings, mainly for aluminum alloys. He has contributed seven chapters to books, edited three technical proceedings and co-authored two books. He is a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society, and NACE International and has served in committee and division leadership positions within each organization. He is also a past chair of the University Materials Council. He is the recipient of the H.H. Uhlig Educator’s Award from NACE, and the Morris Cohen Award and the Uhlig Award from the Corrosion Division of the Electrochemical Society. He is also the recipient of the Stanley E. Harrison Faculty Award from the College of Engineering at Ohio State, and is a two-time recipient the College’s Charles Ellison MacQuigg Award for outstanding teaching. industrialization of new products and / or processes.
What brought you to the Board of Directors of Secat?
I accepted appointment as Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Kentucky starting last July. The Dean has a seat on the Board. However, I have spent my entire research career working on problems associated with corrosion and protection of aluminum, so I was really pleased that a formal association with Secat came along with my appointment.
In your opinion, what makes Secat unique/special in the industry?
Secat has some very specialized expertise and experimental capacity—particularly as it relates to secondary processing and sheet forming, embedded within a very broad range of foundational expertise. There are very few problems in and around the processing and use of aluminum and aluminum products that Secat can’t address.
What is the most important/exciting development you see in the future for Secat?
The aluminum industry in Kentucky is very strong. Nearly all the big North American companies have a presence in the state. That base will continue to bring opportunities to Secat.
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know. . . and anything else you would like to share.
I’ve also done a lot of research on steel and stainless steel, but don’t spread that around too far!

Aluminum Art

Bill Barrett was born in Los Angeles, California and studied Design at the University of Michigan. 
He has had numerous One Man Shows as well as Commissions, Group Exhibitions and Municipal 
Collections. Barrett’s work with aluminum began in 1960’s. These sculptures were composed of flat, horizontal shapes; their surfaces were bright and clean.
In 1982, Barrett was commissioned for the City of New York through Percent for Art to create his largest sculpture to date, “Hari IV” (28′ x 32′ x 16′), for New Dorp High School on Staten Island. Keeping contemporary culture in mind, Barrett’s title for this work comes from a graffiti “tag” that was appearing on New York subway cars at the time. The work was well received by the students, earning the nickname “the elephant”. It became the high school’s symbol, being used on the yearbook cover and adorning the football team’s helmets. The New York Times critic Michael Brenson called this sculpture “one of the most successful public sculptures in the city.” [7] In 1986, Barrett was commissioned for the state of Connecticut for the Criminal Courts Building in Hartford, CT to create “Guardian,” a fabricated aluminum sculpture that stands 15 feet tall. 
Featured here is HARI IV  28ftH x 32ftW x 16ftD 
City of New York % For Art , New Drop High School, Staten Island, New York 
For more information visit

Bill Barrett, Guardian, 1986, Fabricated Aluminum, 15′ x 13′ x 12′ 

Do you have a piece of Aluminum Art you’d like to share? Contact us at

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2020-10-22T17:07:47-04:00February 19th, 2019|Newsletter|Comments Off on SECAT Newsletter, Vol. 7, Issue 1

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