SECAT Newsletter, Vol. 7, Issue 2

Aluminum WrapUp
Volume 7, Issue 2
Aug/Sept 2019

Secat News

Exclusive Aluminum Automotive Sheet
Training Course Offered

Oct 9-10, 2019
Secat, Inc. and Innoval Technology are jointly offering an Aluminum Automotive Sheet Training Course. This course will enable you to get to the root cause of problems faster and use your knowledge to improve processes and develop better products.
Increase your knowledge of material behavior during manufacture and in service.
Develop a thorough understanding of automotive sheet from a materials point of view.
Registration includes a plant tour of the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Georgetown, KY. Whether you’re a potential entrant to the automotive sheet market or anyone in the supply chain—from Senior Managers to Technical Specialists—this course is designed for you.
for more information.

SECAT Celebrates 20 Years!
Happy Anniversary to us! Secat is celebrating its 20th year in business!  
We’re looking forward to 20+ more years of Providing Aluminum Answers.
Happy Anniversary Dr. Wen!
Congratulations to Dr. Xiyu Wen for 20 years of service with Secat and the Center for Aluminum Technology!

Fundamentals of Billet Casting Class a Success!
Aluminum Unwrapped – Fundamentals of Billet Casting
was held August 7 – 8th at Secat, Inc. in Lexington, KY. Participants spent the two day course learning about tools they can use to improve the quality and efficiency of aluminum billet casting operations.
Participants shared the following at the conclusion of the course:
The ”Fundamentals of Billet Casting” class at SECAT provided an excellent overview of the fundamental metallurgical aspects of the casting process while making sure not to lose sight of various practical considerations. It’s a class I would highly recommend to anyone just starting out casting or looking for a refresher on the casting process.  
Research Scientist and CAE

You can learn more about us on Secat’s website

Tech Talk
Part II
(Part I appeared in our Feb issue)
Three types of fatigue cracks from particles, type-I: the micro-cracks in the particles that could not propagate into the matrix, type-II: the micro-cracks were fully arrested soon after they propagated into the matrix, and type-III: the micro-cracks became long cracks, were observed in the AA7075-T651 alloy after fatigue testing. 
By cross-sectioning these three-types of particles using Focused Ion Beam (FIB), it was seen that the thickness of the particles was the dominant factor controlling fatigue crack initiation at the particles, namely, the thicker a pre-fractured Fe-containing particle, the easier it became a type-III crack on the L-T and L-S planes. On the T-S plane, there were only types-I and III Si-bearing particles at which crack were initiated. 
The type-I particles were less than 6.5μm in thickness and type-III particles were thicker than 8.3μm. Cross-sectioning of these particles using FIB revealed that these particles all contained gas pores which promoted crack initiation at the particles because of higher stress concentration at the pores in connection with the particles. 
It was also seen that fatigue cracks did not always follow the any specific crystallographic planes within each grain, based on the Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) measurement. Grain orientation also did not show a strong influence on crack initiation at particles which were located within the grains. 
The topography measurements with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) revealed that Fe-containing particles were protruded on the mechanically polished surface, while the Si-bearing particles were intruded on the surface, which was consistent with hardness measurements showing that Si-bearing particles were softer (4.030.92 GPa) than Fe containing ones (8.9 0.87 GPa) in the alloy.

Figure 1 Three types of typical fractured Fe-bearing particles after fatigue loading
Corresponding cross-sections using FIB in L-T or L-S planes: 

(a) Type-1 particle, (b) Type-2 particle, (c) Type-3 particle (d-f) Cross-sections of the Type-1, 2 and 3 particles respectively.

Figure 2 Two types of fractured Si-bearing particles after fatigue loading 
Corresponding cross-sections using FIB in T-S plane: (a) a Type-1 particle, (b) a Type-3 particle (c) & (d) Cross-sections of Type-1 and 3 respectively.

Figure 3 (a) Exceptional thin type-3 Si-bearing particle in T-S plane 

(b) cross section of the corresponding particle using FIB

Figure 4 {111} pole figure of the grains. Type-1, -2 and -3 fractured Fe-bearing particles were located in L-T or L-S samples in AA7075.

Figure 5 {111} pole figure of the grains 

Type-3 fractured Si-bearing particles were located in T-S samples in AA7075.

Figure 6 Distribution of parent grains of type-3 fractured Fe- and Si-bearing particles

Figure 7 Short fatigue crack propagation behavior in an AA7075 T651 rolled plate:

(a) Type-3 fractured Fe-bearing particles in L-T sample

(b) Orientation map of surrounding grain in terms of IPF using EBSD 

(c) Cross section of fatigue crack plane on the crack growth path using FIB. 

Euler angle (o): 63.3 37 89.4; (d) low-angle grain boundaries in grain in EBSD mapping.

Figure 8 Topography of Fe- and Si-bearing particle on the mechanically polished surface using AFM: (a) optical micrograph, (b) extruded topography using AFM (c) depth profile compared to surface between two crossings along the selected linear path in (b) of Fe-bearing, (d) optical micrograph, (e) intruded topography using AFM, (f) depth profile compared to surface between two crossings along the selected linear path in (e) of Si-bearing particle. (Unit: nm)

Figure 9 SEM micrographs of indentations in (a) sample matrix, (b) Fe-bearing particle, and (c) Si-bearing particle on mechanically polished surface

Figure 10 Comparison of Young’s moduli and hardness of matrix, Fe- and Si-bearing particles in AA7075 T651 aluminum alloy

Featured Capabilities- Introducing the SDT 650
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) + Thermo-Gravimetric Analysis (TGA)
Introducing the SDT 650: 
The differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) at Secat has recently been upgraded to a new simultaneous thermal analyzer, the SDT 650 from TA Instruments, combining differential scanning calorimetry and thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA). The SDT 650 allows for a simultaneous capture of both mass gain and or loss along with the traditional heat flow signals up to temperatures of 1500 °C in inert and reducing or oxidizing atmospheres. Linear heating rates of 0.1 °C/min to 100 °C/min can be prescribed along with modulated temperature profiles and high resolution modes to examine overlapping events in DSC or TGA where applicable. 

DSC analysis and TGA is a great way to characterize alloys, melts, and general substances found in processing such as lubricants and greases. The more common characterization that many are familiar with on a DSC is observation of solid state transformations such as formation of Gunier-Preston Zones, precipitation reactions and dissolution of precipitates in alloys, especially age hardenable alloys. DSC is also commonly applied to observation of melting temperatures, transitions in the melt phase, as well as quantifying the heat flow for the reactions in question.  
The SDT 650 however is also capable of characterizing much more about your alloys and associated materials than just transition temperatures or heat flows. DSC can be used to quantify recovery and recrystallization temperatures as well as the associated activation energies. Specific heat capacity of an alloy can be measured to facilitate inclusion in simulations of furnace heating such as homogenization treatments. Failure analysis and competitor analysis can be bolstered by determining homogenization history. When combining DSC with TGA, oxidation rates of a melt can be determined under prescribed atmospheres allowing comparison of melt loss by alloy. TGA on its own can be used to fingerprint breakdown temperatures of lubricants and greases by mass loss or gain. The TGA signal can also be used to measure Curie point for magnetic materials. Modulated DSC/TGA allow for advanced characterizations of overlapping events for ceramics and polymers such as glass transition, decomposition, evaporation, relaxation, and oxidation.    
The following are examples of how the SDT 650 may help with your analysis needs:  
Age Hardening
  • Aid in identification of temperatures for clustering, GP Zones, precipitation, dissolution
  • Identification of unknown heat treatments by fingerprinting of alloy by DSC to verify proper heat treatments
  • Identification of homogenization history by DSC fingerprinting
  • Competitor analysis useful for determining unknown heat treatment times
  • Identification of recovery and recrystallization temperatures and activation energy
  • Dependent on not overlapping with precipitation events
Grease/Lubricant Breakdown Fingerprint
  • Identification of breakdown temperatures and ash amount of lubricating fluids
  • Fingerprinting of lubricant off gas with temperature when coupled to FTIR or mass spectrometer
  • Helps with identification of unknown organics when a library of components compiled
Melt or Solids Oxidation
  • Compare and quantify oxidation rates of samples or melt alloys with introduction of air or other pure or mixed gases at defined temperature or temperature ranges
  • Identify incipient melting events and overall melting temperatures
Activation Energies
  • Identify recrystallization, recovery, precipitation, dissolution activation energies for modeling purposes
Heat Capacity
  • Determine alloy specific heat capacity for modeling purposes
 If lubricant and grease analysis is of interest, the SDT 650 can be integrated with FT-IR or MS methods to determine off gas components during breakdown further supplementing fingerprinting information of these materials.

Person of Interest
Hany Ahmed
Senior Manager
Business Development & Innovation
Gränges Americas
Hany Ahmed is a Senior Manager of Business Development & Innovation at Gränges Americas. Prior to joining Gränges, Hany had 20 years of experience in the metals industry working on various business, product and strategy development roles across the globe in both steel and aluminum businesses. He excels in development and implementing innovative business strategy and product portfolios while partnering with customers to implement light weight innovative solutions in various ground transport, and energy markets.
Hany holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Materials & Manufacturing Engineering from The American University in Cairo, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Management from New York University (NYU), Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and a PhD in Metals & Materials Engineering from The University of British Columbia. In this role, Hany will be focused on identifying new business development opportunities. Hany will play a key role linking R&D, operations, sales and strategy for Gränges’ product offerings over time. In his spare time, Hany enjoys spending time with his family, hiking and travelling to exciting historical sights.
Give us a quick overview of your job. 
As a senior manager of business development and innovation, I have a wide focus. First, I work on developing our strategy alongside team members and senior leadership to define the heading of what we want to look like by 2025. Then, I look to define our focus on short term , first year, medium term , 2-3 years, and long term, 4-5 years. Then, I work with the teams including both operations, key account managers and R&D to further develop and execute on our product portfolio to address current challenges and to further develop our technology and products for new opportunities through Innovative solutions and customer partnerships. A key portion of my job is to work closely with customers both in terms of developing new business opportunities and also to further develop partnerships where we can be of key added value and become the innovation partner of choice. As time allows, an exciting part of my work focus on developing innovation strategy including how to further build and sustain innovation organization along with team members from across the global in Europe and Asia, defining and executing on our innovation strategy and future road maps. Finally given my combined background, a Ph.D. in metallurgy with deep product knowledge and an MBA with a focus on strategy, corporate finance and marketing, I find myself involved in support of our product development in terms of being a “thinking” partner to work with our team as we develop our state-of-the-art new materials and their applications or working with customers in branding ourselves as their partner of choice.
What are some things that happen for you in a typical day at work?
The exciting part about my work is that there is no real “typical” day, but here are some of the key activities that take place:
Meeting with a potential customer to explore new business opportunities.
Follow up to establish potential business partnerships in areas where there are complimentary activities that can provide further value-add to our customers.
Working on further analysis of markets to develop our strategy in terms of focus, market entry and product portfolio
Follow up with operations and plant to establish deeper understanding of our process and product portfolio or investigate utilizing our unique capabilities towards becoming partner of choice to our customers.
Buildup of a business case working with account managers and finance to determine products profitability and fit.
Discussion with R&D on product challenge and deep dive into metallurgy and process route to either address current challenges
How does your job impact the markets you serve
My job looks at light weighting and development of innovative solutions in partnership with our customers. Towards that:
The work being done in business development either serve existing markets towards providing new and innovative aluminum solutions
Or, they look at new market opportunities where aluminum can serve as material of choice to meet stringent requirements in energy, ground transport and heat exchangers as well as niche market segments. This can lead to improved efficiency for our customers and products, reduction in carbon foot print and implementing cost efficient lightweight aluminum solutions.
How do you interact with Secat, Inc. and how does the relationship benefit you?
The interaction between Gränges and Secat can be quite beneficial towards business development activities and using aluminum in existing and new markets. Specifically
We view the interactions and partnership with Secat as key towards realizing new innovations. Secat is a partner towards development in key innovative new projects where development of deeper understanding of metallurgical and process routes will support aluminum introduction in various markets (becoming a trusted partner)
Support in mechanical and metallurgical testing (e.g. casting, light gauge testing, SEM/EDX analysis) and evaluations given the wide expertise and unique capabilities in terms of expertise and equipment capabilities 
Support in design thinking/brain storming sessions towards: a) addressing a unique metallurgical challenge in specific application in existing markets, b) Becoming a partner of choice in developing new markets.
Tell us something about yourself (outside of the industry) that people may not know.
I am a bit of a travel enthusiast and I do enjoy history and culture, so my family makes it a point to travel to explore new cultures and historical sights.
I am also a biking enthusiast, where I like to bike to help exercise and be outdoors.

Aluminum Art

Toshihiko Mitsuya (b. 1979, Japan) lives and works in Berlin. He received a BFA in sculpture at Seian University of Art and Design in 2004. 
His main work is sculpture made from Aluminum foil.
As a child, Japanese artist Toshihiko Mitsuya used aluminum foil he found in his kitchen cupboard to bring the creatures from his imagination to reality. His passion carried through to adulthood, with Toshihiko’s ability to sculpt and manipulate the material into painstakingly detailed sculptures, developing into an exceptional art form. 
Aluminum Garden
is a collection of about 220 structural studies of plants. Mitsuya describes his chosen material – “Far from static, aluminum takes on the feelings of its surroundings, the wind, the light and the hands that touch it.”*
to see more of this artist’s work.

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

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2020-10-22T17:07:47-04:00August 20th, 2019|Newsletter|Comments Off on SECAT Newsletter, Vol. 7, Issue 2

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