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The IUP Journal of Mechanical Engineering
Enhancement of Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Al-Alloy Materials Using Biological Quenching Medium
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Extensive literature is available on the failure analysis of IC engine piston heads. This analysis focuses on the strength criteria of failure. However, in some cases, the failure of piston heads occurred within the safe stress levels. The irregularities in the microstructure of the piston head material may be one of the reasons for such failure. In this paper, an attempt is made to study the strength properties, microstructure, etc., in relation to the quenching methods and parameters used while manufacturing the piston heads. The present work is a simulation of the piston head material and varying the quenching parameters used for manufacture of the piston heads. The composition of the quenching media with additives needs an in-depth study. An attempt is also made to add different percentages of cow urine to the base quenching media and to study its effect on the microstructural and mechanical properties of the cast Al alloy materials used for piston heads. Cow urine is supposed to contain rich percentages of sodium, nitrogen, sulphur, manganese, silicon, etc., homogeneously present, and the elements have a remarkable effect on the microstructure in the areas of grain refinement and interlocking of grain boundaries and consequent improvement in mechanical properties. It has been concluded that the cow urine mixed with base quenching media has an overall improvement in the microstructure and mechanical properties of Al alloy materials used in the manufacturing of piston heads.

 
 

Normally, different additives are added separately to the quenching media to improve the mechanical properties. However, cow urine, which contains many elements mixed homogeneously, when mixed with base quenching media improves the microstructure and mechanical properties marginally. In fact, sodium present in cow urine results in grain refinement and silicon with other elements helps in interlocking the grain boundaries, which enhances the mechanical properties. In this paper, an attempt is made to experimentally verify the above statements.