A380 Aluminum Alloy: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Before choosing A380 aluminum alloy for any die casting process, you should understand various properties of this metal.

Today’s guide will answer all questions you have been asking about A380 aluminum alloy.

So keep reading to learn more.

What Are The Properties Of A380 Aluminum Alloy?

Die casting A380 Aluminum Alloy

Die Casting A380 aluminum alloy

  • The density of an A380 aluminum alloy is 2.71 g/cm3
  • Its hardness Brinell is 80 HB
  • The Thermal expansion coefficient is 21.8 µm/m-K
  • A380 Aluminum Alloy melting point is 566°C (+/- 50)
  • Its Shear strength is 190 MPa
  • Electrical conductivity is 23%
  • Its Elongation is 35% in 50mm
  • The thermal conductivity is about 96 W/m-K
  • The impact strength is 4 J
  • Yield strength at 0.2% is 160MPa

What Are The Effects Of Flow State Of Pure Aluminum And A380 Aluminum alloy?

Heat treatment is prevented from refining the die castings mechanical properties by defects of air entrapment.

This will in turn inhibit the function of high performance components in the die casting.

The filling process has a very complex flow pattern and the thin-walled die castings make experimental analysis very challenging.

During the filling process, pure aluminum had a larger degree of breakup compared to that of A380 Aluminum Alloy.

This leads to increased porosity of pure aluminum. The varied porosity between pure Aluminum and A380 Aluminum Alloy is can be attributed to the aluminum liquids flow state.

High pressure die casting (HPDC) also comes with its limitations when it comes to the flow state of Aluminum.

Since the filling time is exceptionally brief, pores are formed due to the gas trapped in the process of high-speed injection.

The effect of porosity is that the properties of heat treatment of castings are greatly hindered therefore the quality of casting is degraded.

During the filling process, differences between A380 Aluminum Alloy and pure Aluminum were majorly brought about by the continuous aluminum liquid degree of cracking.

More rapture is observed on pure Aluminum while the A380 Aluminum Alloy remains considerably continuous with a slight degree of rapture.

What Are The Benefits Of Surface Treatment Systems On A380 Aluminum?

These systems are utilized to provide an ornamental finishing in the A380 Aluminum Alloy.

They also form a protective layer that protects the alloy against extreme exposures in the environment while improving its wear resistance.

Some of the ways of applying the decorative finishes are through plating, painting, epoxy finishing or by powder coat finishing.

When plating the A380 Aluminum Alloy, an immersion zinc coating is applied before copper-nickel-chromium plating.

Chromating, painting, anodizing and the use of iridite coatings can be used to achieve protection from corrosion caused by the environment.

Hard anodizing can be used to greatly improve the resistance to wear and tear of the A380 Aluminum Alloy.

In the event that a part restricts pressure-tight production of an A380 Aluminum Alloy casting and overflow die design, then the aluminum die cast can either be impregnated.

Pressure tight and sealed castings with smooth surface finishes can be produced by applying methacrylates and aerobic systems.

What Are The Effects Of Alloying On The Corrosion Behavior Of A380 Aluminum Alloy?

Aluminum can be described as a thermodynamically reactive metal as is exhibited by its electromotive force series position.

The only metals that are more reactive than it are magnesium and beryllium.

An oxide film strongly bound on the aluminum surface serves as an excellent barrier against corrosion and making it the metal of choice in commerce.

At ambient temperatures, a surface film is normally formed in air and is only about 5 nm thick.

Once damaged, the thin film will re-form instantaneously and it will continue protecting the A380 Aluminum Alloy from corrosion.

When the damage is such that self-repair becomes impossible, then corrosion will occur.

The A380 Aluminum Alloys corrosion resistance largely relies on both environmental metallurgical and environmental variables.

Mechanical working and optimum selection of temper also known as heat treatment are some of the metallurgical variables affecting the composition.

They are the microstructure determinants and choose the method of attack of corrosion and whether the localized corrosion occurs.

Corrosion is affected by both physical and chemical environments of the A380 Aluminum Alloy.

The environmental chemical influence mostly relies on impurities present such as heavy metal ions and its composition.

The physical variables include pressure, temperature, agitation and the degree of movement.

Based on the fact that corrosion of the A380 Aluminum Alloy is influenced by various variables, its suitability cannot be based solely on environment or specific product.

An in-depth familiarity of the equipment’s design, the microstructure of the A380 Aluminum Alloy and the operational conditions is essential.

What Are The Advantages Of A380 Aluminum Alloy?

A380 Aluminum Alloy Bars

A380 aluminum alloy bars

  • It provides the most appropriate combination of thermal, casting and mechanical properties.
  • It has an extensive variety of applications for various products like electronic equipment chassis, hand and power tools, gear box cases and engine brackets.
  • It displays exceptional resistance to cracking, fluidity and pressure tightness.
  • It can create very light parts that have a variety of surface finishes.
  • It has the ability to withstand extreme operational temperatures compared to any other metal alloy.
  • It is highly resistant to corrosion especially with appropriate surface finish.
  • It can retain a very high dimensional stability having thin walls.
  • It exhibits anti-soldering properties I the process of die casting.
  • It is easily and readily available
  • industries are being the third most abundant element in the world.

Can High Performance HPDC Alloy Be Used As A Replacement For A380 Aluminum Alloy?

Modern manufacturers are currently opting for lightweight materials which can withstand extreme temperatures and dynamic loads.

High pressure die casting (HPDC) alloys are finding more applications in the automotive and aviation industries replacing A380Aluminum Alloy.

This is because of their striking properties like diecastability, ability to integrate designs, their damping capacity and an extremely high stiffness /weight ratio.

Such HPDC alloys have applications in safety related uses such as seats and doors, steering wheels etc.

What Are The Strengthening Mechanisms Of A380 Aluminum Alloy?

The A380 Aluminum Alloy strength is attributed to its capacity to impede dislocation motion.

The mechanisms involved in strengthening are associated with precipitates, the size of the grain and solute atoms.

The enhanced distribution of the second phases has led to better casting mechanical properties with smaller grains.

Solute atoms in the parent lattice, which are positioned either substitutionally or interstitially, produce stress fields which hinder dislocation motion.

Quenching and solution treatment are the methods used to produce precipitates that are used for strengthening.

This process is followed by ageing whereby the precipitates and atoms in the precipitates solid solution, at elevated temperatures, inhibit dislocation motion.

Adding dispersions (hard particles) also strengthens alloys.

If the A380 Aluminum Alloy has minimal solubility, then growth will be inhibited by dispersions and they remain small even at escalated temperatures.

What Are The Alloying Elements In An A380 Aluminum Alloy?

Some of the key alloying element are:

Silicon

Advantages of alloying with silicon include a high abrasive wear resistance, improved castability and increased strength.

Copper

Copper alloys have improved properties and respond extremely well to thermal treatment.

Zinc

No substantial gain is derived from zinc in an A380 Aluminum Alloy. However, it leads to naturally ageing and heat treatable compositions.

Iron

Hot tear resistance is enhanced and soldering and die sticking tendencies reduced when alloying with iron. An increase in iron content leads to a decrease in ductility.

Manganese

In casting compositions, it is usually taken as an impurity therefore its levels are controlled to minimum.

Nickel

To increase alloy strength at elevated and room temperatures, nickel is added. It also enhances the hardness and strength of alloys.

Tin

It enhances anti-friction characteristics in moving automotive applications. Under emergency situations, it exudes and provides temporary liquid lubrication.

Magnesium

In heat treated alloys, it is the source of hardness development and strength.

What Are The Different Association Designation Codes For Aluminum Alloys?

The system in use is a 4-digit identification system for wrought Aluminum alloy.

The principal alloying element is the first digit (Xxxx) which is added to the alloy and describes the alloy series e.g. 2000 series.

Alloy designation system

Alloy designation system

  • 1xx – minimum Aluminum of 99%
  • 2xx – Copper
  • 3xx – Manganese
  • 4xx – Silicon
  • 5xx – Magnesium
  • 6xx – Magnesium and Silicon
  • 7xx – Zinc
  • 8xx – Other Elements

Modification of the alloy is represented by the second digit (xXxx) while exact alloys in the series are given arbitrary numbers in the third and fourth digits (xxXX).

For cast alloys, a three digit with decimal is used. The principal alloying element is shown by the first digit (Xxx.x).

  • x – minimum Aluminum of 99%
  • x – Copper
  • x – Manganese
  • x – Silicon
  • x – Magnesium
  • x – Magnesium and Silicon
  • x – Zinc
  • x –Tin
  • x – Other Elements

Specific alloys are identified by the second and third arbitrary digits (xXX.x). If the alloy is a casting it wil be .0 and an ingot will be .1

Can A380 Aluminum Alloy Be Heat Treated?

The A380 Aluminum Alloy is considered among commercial alloys that easily heat treatable.

The purpose of heat treatment is mainly to improve the alloys mechanical structure, changing its microstructure or eliminating residual stress.

Heat treating A380 Aluminum Alloy also increases the ease at which it forms.

The use of special equipment is necessary since aluminum needs unyielding heat control for optimal results to be achieved.

How Does A380 Aluminum Alloy Compare To Other Alloys?

With an elastic modulus of around 70 GPa, the A380 Aluminum Alloy has around a third of other conventional alloys elastic modulus.

This means that A380 Aluminum Alloy undergoes a bigger deformation under load in the elastic region compared to other conventional alloys.

Generally, A380 Aluminum Alloy offers designs that are lighter and stiffer that cannot be easily achieved with other metal alloys and sometimes completely not feasible.

An example is in the aviation industry where planes use extruded profiles to make space frames that ensure rigidity unlike other metal alloys which enhance stiffness by relying on body shells.

What Are The Common Imperfections In Cast A320 Aluminum Alloy?

Imperfections in the A380 Aluminum Alloy may contain flaws like porosity, intermetallics and oxides. They may also include microstructural feature dimensions such as eutectic.

The tensile properties of the A380 Aluminum Alloys are affected by the eutectic Silicon (Si) but is majorly not considered as a defect.

Imperfections tend to lead to premature failures.

Some of the imperfections in aluminum die casting these alloys include:

Imperfection on die cast aluminum part

Imperfection on die cast aluminum part

a)      Eutectic Silicon

Depending on their thermal history and chemical composition, eutectic silicon may have varied morphologies.

The distribution and morphology of eutectic silicon on A380 Aluminum Silicon is very significant because they are the possible initiation sites where fractures occur.

b)      Fe-rich Intermetallics

Low solubility of iron in the A380 Aluminum Alloy leads to formation of intermetallics.

The most common intermetallics are generated by iron in casting alloys.

Iron has a solubility of around 0.03-0.05% at 655° in solid A380 Aluminum Alloy which can go lower when at room temperature.

Complex plate structures in 3D called ß-Fe are formed when iron combines with silicon and aluminum.

The ß-Fe intermetallics adversely affect the mechanical properties of A380 Aluminum Alloy like the reduction in ductility. This will in turn lead to a reduction in the ultimate tensile strength.

c)      Oxides

A380 Aluminum Alloy readily oxidizes forming a layer of aluminum oxide on the liquid and solid surfaces that are in contact with oxygen in the atmosphere.

The oxides have a surface growth on the A380 aluminum surface and the layer becomes bigger thus slowing down the growth rate because less oxygen diffuses through the layer.

When the flow of liquid metal is too fast during casting, waves may be generated on the surface. When surface turbulence becomes extreme, the waves peaks fold on the surface and entrench surface oxides.

Bonding to the liquid will be retained by the oxides but there will be no bonding between the two dry surfaces.

This leads to the entrained oxide acting as a crack.

d)      Porosity

The three major causes of porosity in A380 Aluminum Alloy are entrapped air, hydrogen and shrinkage due to solidification.

The only gas with a substantial solubility in aluminum is hydrogen and is much lower when its solid.

During solidification, the hydrogen content increases in the remaining liquid.

The level of hydrogen is most likely to surpass solubility limit if it is unable to leave the casting and this leads to porosity formation.

Shrinkage pores can normally be seen as intermediate empty regions. The density of cast aluminum increases when they solidify.

Neighboring volumes feed the shrinkage with liquid through the interdentritic channels as the casting regions begin to solidify.

The tension built up during shrinkage will be emitted by formation of porosity in the event that the volumes are not well fed.

A combination of gas and shrinkage is usually responsible for most of the porosity in A380 Aluminum Alloy.

What Are The Comparisons Between A356-T And A380 Aluminum Alloys?

They are both aluminum alloys with their alloy composition having a 92% similarity.

In application, A380 Aluminum Alloy is normally used for tool parts, to make brackets, furniture and motor shell.

A356-T is generally used to make structure parts such as belt pulley, parts of pumps and machine casings.

A380 Aluminum Alloy has optimum machining properties and suitable for die casting and sand casting.

A356-T cannot be easily machined hence suitable with sand casting and permanent mold casting.

The differences in mechanical properties include;

A380 Aluminum Alloy,

  • Hardness HB 60
  • Tensile strength Ϭ b ≥ 320MPa
  • Elongation δ5 (%) ≥ 3.5
  • Yield strength Ϭ b ≥ 160MPa

A356-T,

  • Hardness HB 65-69
  • Tensile strength Ϭ b ≥ 220MPa
  • Elongation δ5 (%) ≥ 2
  • Yield strength Ϭ b ≥ 180MPa

What Is The Tensile Strength Of A380 Aluminum Alloy?

The A380 Aluminum Alloy has been confirmed to meet all the density targets and mechanical property targets.

For thus alloy, the eventual tensile strength is usually 47 ksi while its yield strength is normally 23 ksi.

Also, the A380 Aluminum Alloys thermal conductivity is unfortunately 20% below the target design.

Is The A380 Aluminum Alloy A High Temperature Alloy?

The A380 Aluminum Alloy is a high temperature alloy. It can safely withstand temperatures of around 300°C.

We also have other Aluminum alloys which have a higher temperature tolerance than the A380 Aluminum Alloy.

Such alloys include the A4032 and A2618 which are normally utilized in the manufacture of high performance pistons and other components like aerospace airframes.

A lot of strength is lost by these alloys when the temperature exceeds 300°C.

Powder processed Aluminum alloys have been developed to overcome such shortcomings. It is foreseen that Titanium or Steel could be replaced by such advanced high temperature alloys.

They exhibit remarkable thermal stability at service temperature even after operating over hundreds of hours of operation.

This makes them more efficient in terms of performance compared to A380 Aluminum Alloy and others like A2618 and 4032 which are high temperature alloys.

What Is The Importance Of Squeeze Casting In A380 Aluminum Alloy?

Squeeze casting is a combination of both forging and casting.

During solidification, the melt is exposed to high pressures and very fine grains are obtained in the process thus preventing shrinkage porosity.

The significance of squeeze casting A380 Aluminum Alloy is for it to have a rheological solidification under pressure when still in liquid state.

This process also leads to microstructure evolution since it affects the feeding and its microstructure in turn.

Squeeze casting also assists in initiating the solidification nucleation, controlling the nucleation and inhibiting the growth of dendrites.

Fewer air bubbles are trapped inside the A380 Aluminum Alloy when squeeze casting is applied.

This increases its quality and performance traits since they can handle shrinkage more efficiently.

Composite fibers can also be used by manufacturers in squeeze casting without interfering with the quality of the alloy.

This is because ferrous alloys and materials are allowed for use in squeeze casting.

Squeeze casting an A380 Aluminum Alloy does not emit any gases to the atmosphere.

This is in addition to the fact that there is significant control on the structures final look due to its cooling rate.

What Is The Equivalent Of The A380 Aluminum Alloy?

ADC 10 is the equivalent of the A380 Aluminum alloy. It is also an aluminum alloy that is widely used in the making of die castings.

Products casts made from ADC10 function well in presses and don’t splinter or crack as experienced in other metals. In addition, its anti-soldering properties ensure extended life of dies and tools.

A380 Aluminum alloy die cast part

A380 aluminum alloy die cast part

Which Are The Equipment Used In A380 Aluminum Alloy Die Casting?

Some of the most common machines and equipment are:

  • Machine under pressure
  • Filtering furnaces
  • Molding machines
  • Dosing furnaces
  • Low-pressure furnaces
  • Melting furnaces
  • Transport launders
  • Transport Ladles
  • Ladle heaters
  • Holding Furnaces
  • Casting Furnaces (methods employed are calcining, vacuum, melting and induction)
  • Burning and Sintering furnaces (various types include spark plasma sintering, high vacuum, vacuum compression, vacuum hydrogen)
  • Vacuum furnaces for heat treatment (processes include crystallization, annealing, hardening in oil or gas and nitriding)
  • Various sizes and types of core making machines

Why Is The K-Alloy/A304 Alloy Preferred Over A380 Aluminum Alloy When Die Casting?

The K-Alloy/A304 was first introduced into the market in 2003 and patented as a casting aluminum alloy.

Processes like painting, anodizing and chromating have been eliminated when the use of the K-Alloy/A304 is applied.

Time and money is saved by eliminating such expensive procedures in addition to K-Alloy/A304 offering reliable protection from harsh environmental conditions.

This ensures effective performance as damages are greatly minimized.

Besides its exceptional resistance to corrosion, the K-Alloy/A304 also has great elongation properties with improved thermal conductivity.

Compared to the A380 Aluminum Alloy, the cooling rate of K-Alloy/A304 is 15% better.

Compared with A380, K-Alloy/A304 has the same die life in addition to having similar shrink factors with other castings.

However, it still possesses a higher finish quality for applications with high polish while eliminating the use of process parameters or any special tool.

The various applications of the K-Alloy/A304 include housing vehicle structural parts and also electronic modules.

Stadium lighting systems and military applications like drones and antennas are also some of the commercial applications of K-Alloy/A304.

In case you have any questions about A380 aluminum alloy die casting, talk to us now.

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