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LM-6 alloy is a member of the Aluminum-Silicon Alloy (AL-Si) family. The presence of Silicon in the alloy imparts many many favourable features, but it also makes it very difficult to machine, greatly limiting its potential as an alloy. Alloy modification is a technique to improve this situation but introducing a third material (with very small amounts) that would alter its properties and so improve its machinability, in this research, Strontium was the candidate modifying element.
Another factor to investigate was how to modify LM-6 with Strontium. The modification process begins by heating a mix of LM-6 ingots and Strontium pellets till their melting point, then cooling the mix back to room temperature. However, the cooling rate and the accompanying treatment would also affect the mechanical properties of the resulting alloy. As such, this also needed to be studied.
This work involved preparing 8 different versions of LM-6 alloy samples; Sand-cast, Die-cast, heat-treated, and non-heat treated samples, created in pairs of Strontium-modified and un-modified. These samples were next put to Physical, metallurgical, and Machining tests, based on data obtained from these tests, a number of recommendations and findings were made in the published paper. First, the paper reports on the overall effect of Strontium modification, in Mechanical Properties and Machinability, then focuses its findings on each treatment option.