The Effect of Key Microstructure Features on the Machining of an Aluminum-Silicon Casting Alloy
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The need to increase the cutting tool life when machining A356 has led to the continuous development of strategies to accomplish this goal. It has been proposed the modification of the microstructure of this type of alloy as a strategy for ensuring a longer tool life during machining. Throughout modification of the silicon phase it is possible to enhance the mechanical properties of the alloy, establishing in this way, the linkage among microstructural characterization (i.e., unmodified vs. modified), mechanical properties, and tool life. If modification of the silicon phase leads to an enhancement of the mechanical properties, then it is expected a reduced wear on the cutting tool drilling in the modified structure, resulting in a higher number of drilled holes prior to tool failure than that experienced in an unmodified structure.