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Investigations on coating of dies for advanced squeeze casting process

Premature failure of dies is a critical problem of manufacturers in hot-working processes, e.g. metal die casting, hot extrusion and/or thixoextrusion of aluminium/magnesium or steel. Typically, die material has to be resistant to heat cycling or corrosion environment, to plastic deformation and wear, especially when exposed to high temperature during continuous working cycle. The resistance of dies could be increased by the modification of their surfaces, i.e. by the application of an adequate coating. An improvement of the resistance of H11 steel substrate will be presented and discussed. Here, the coatings will be realized through both by High Velocity Oxy-Fuel coating spray method and by plasma spray method. Firstly, the measurement of the residual stress will be carried out on the un-coated and coated substrate. Secondly, morphological analysis by optical and scanning electron microscopy will be performed on the powders used for the coating and on the coated materials. Such investigations aim finding the most favourable conditions, as concern the materials to be employed for the deposition and the more appropriate deposition techniques, in order to achieve improved properties for the dies which can be used in innovative casting techniques, i.e. squeeze casting and/or some related modified processes.
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