Metal Processing Institute
Advanced Casting Research Center

Research Programs

Fatigue Performance of Fluidized Bed Heat Treated Castings

Research Team:
Sujoy Krishna Chaudhury and Diran Apelian


A typical heat treatment regimen for a typical aluminum cast alloy is comprised of a solutionizing step, followed by quenching in water and an aging step. Together, these three steps may last for over ten hours and contribute a substantial increment to the part's manufacturing cost. Fluidized beds offer a more efficient means of energy transfer than conventional heat treatment methods that rely solely on convection, and thus they present an attractive alternative to traditional heat treatment. Fluidized beds achieve very rapid heat treatment for three main reasons:


This project is focused on to the study of fatigue behavior, residual stress, and part distortion of heat treated Al castings using fluidized beds. In addition, we aimed to engineer cast A356 alloy to reduce its quench sensitivity. The project had three primary objectives:

Project Overview

The aim of this project was to study the effect of FB quenching subsequent to solution heat treatment on properties such as fatigue life, residual stress/distortion. For comparison purposes, castings were quenched in water. The focus of the project was to improve the fatigue performance of Al castings through proper heat treatment using FB.  Strategies followed during the project were:

This project commenced in May 2005 and ended in April, 2007; the project was funded by the ACRC consortium members.
This project was divided into three phases:
Phase I - Effect of FB heat treatment on fatigue performance of Al castings

Phase II - Effect of FB quenching on residual stress and distortion

Phase III - Effect of alloying elements such as Cu, Mg, Cr etc. on quench sensitivity of A356 alloy

Outcome / Impact

Phase I


Phase II


Phase III

In addition, some fundamental studies on localized recrystallization in cast A356 alloy were carried out using dilatometer and calorimeter. A summary of key points are given below:



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Last modified: September 22, 2008 10:27:21