Design and modification of Al-Mg-Si-alloys

Lightweight construction is the dominant theme in the automotive and aerospace industries, especially in the development of new models. Due to the advantageous properties of aluminum alloys, such as a low density combined with high strength, there is enormous potential to realize significant weight savings. However, what limits even more extensive use of aluminum in these areas is insufficient strength or formability.

These limitations define the motivation of the current PhD thesis. On the one hand, the designing of a new class of Zr-modified Al-Mg-Si alloys is sought which surpasses existing types in terms of achievable strength. On the other hand, the testing of an ideal heat treatment on car body sheers, for best formability during deep drawing and maximum strength in use, takes place. Thermodynamics simulations (FactSage, MatCalc) as well as state-of-the-art imaging equipment (REM, TEM, atom probe) are central in driving the development of these novel materials.

High resolution picture of an Al3Zr-precipitation made via transmission-electron-microscope (TEM)