Fracture behaviour and characterization of lead-free brass alloys for machining applications

“Fracture behaviour and characterization of lead-free brass alloys for machining applications”, J. Materials Engineering and Performance, Vol. 23 (9), 2014, p. 3193-3206.
A.I. Toulfatzis, G.A. Pantazopoulos, A.S. Paipetis
The stricter environmental, health, and safety regulations address the harmful effects of lead and provide the driving force for the development of lead-free brass alloys. Conventional leaded brass rods are widely used in several manufacturing sectors (i.e., fabrication of hydraulic components, fittings, valves, etc.) due to their superior workability in extrusion and drawing as well as their superior machinability. As machinability performance involves shear and dynamic fracture processes evolved under high strain-rate conditions, the understanding of the mechanical behavior/microstructure interaction is critical in order to successfully tailor candidate lead-free alloys for improved machinability without compromising the reliability of manufactured components. In this work, the mechanical behavior under static and dynamic loading of three lead-free brass alloys (CW510L-CW511L-C27450) in comparison to a conventional leaded brass alloy (CW614N) was studied. The fractographic evaluation of the texture of conjugate fracture surfaces was performed to identify the involved fracture mechanisms and their relation to the alloy microstructure. It was shown that the CW510L lead-free brass alloy is a potential candidate in replacing conventional CW614N leaded brass, combining high tensile strength and fracture toughness, due to the prevalence of the β-intermetallic phase in the alloy microstructure.
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