Residual Stress Determination of Cast Aluminium Benchmark Components Using Strain Relief Techniques

Z. Cai, P. Mayr, R. Fernandez, S. Robbe, E. Usmial, F. Lefebvre, L. To, G. S. Schajer, P. J. Withers, M. J. Roy

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Background: Residual stress development in precipitation strengthened aluminium foundry alloys has seen little attention, despite the prevalence of their use over a wide array of applications.

Objective: This study aims at the evaluation of the residual stress in a cast aluminium benchmark that develops during precipitation heat treatment and determines the preferable stress relaxing techniques for such applications.

Methods: The stress states in the as-cast, T4 and T6 tempers of the same AlSi7Cu0.5Mg (A356 with 0.5 wt% Cu) sample were determined through a novel application of the contour method, standard hole drilling, deep hole drilling and incremental deep hole drilling.

Results: The results of all measurement techniques lie within approximately 40 MPa for all regions available for comparison, with the greatest differences occurring between the contour method and deep hole drilling for the T6 component. It is shown that the peak tensile residual stresses are almost identical between the heat-treated components (75 MPa), but the distribution and magnitude of compressive residual stress are found to be significantly different.

Conclusions: Among the measurement techniques evaluated, the contour method and incremental hole drilling are found to be more suitable for T6 temper, while all techniques perform equally well for T4 temper due to its relatively low strength. It is hypothesised that the difference between the as-cast and heat-treated samples is due to solution heat treatment and quenching, while the difference in T4 and T6 tempers is attributed to the response to ageing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Early online date21 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Feb 2024


  • residual stress
  • casting
  • aluminium alloys
  • contour method
  • hole drilling


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