Volume 6, Issue 1 (January 2009)
Water and Polymer Quenching of Aluminum Alloys: A Review of the Effect of Surface Condition, Water Temperature, and Polymer Quenchant Concentration on the Yield Strength of 7075-T6 Aluminum Plate
Cold water is perhaps the most common quenchant used for heat treatable aluminum alloys. In many situations, excessive distortion and cracking problems require the use of a less severe quenchant such as hot water or a Type I aqueous polymer quenchant. However, when these alternative quenching media are used, the distortion improvement achieved is typically accompanied by a corresponding loss of strength. This paper will provide an overview of cold versus hot water quenching and the potential use of Type I polymer quenchants. The potential use of quench factor analysis to aid in quenchant media selection and corresponding property prediction is reviewed and applications are demonstrated. The often dramatic impact of the surface condition of aluminum on quenching performance and properties achieved will also be included in this review.