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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 101872, 9 pages
Research Article

Effect of Casting Parameters on the Microstructural and Mechanical Behavior of Magnesium AZ31-B Alloy Strips Cast on a Single Belt Casting Simulator

1Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, Concordia University, Sir George Williams Campus, 1515 St. Catherine W., Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 2W1
2McGill Metal Processing Center, McGill University, 3610 University Street, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 2B2

Received 21 May 2013; Revised 1 October 2013; Accepted 21 October 2013; Published 19 January 2014

Academic Editor: Aloysius Soon

Copyright © 2014 Ahmad Changizi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Strips of magnesium alloy AZ31-B were cast on a simulator of a horizontal single belt caster incorporating a moving mold system. Mixtures of CO2 and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gases were used as protective atmosphere during melting and casting. The castability of the AZ31-B strips was investigated for a smooth, low carbon steel substrate, and six copper substrates with various textures and roughnesses. Graphite powder was used to coat the substrates. The correlation between strip thickness and heat flux was investigated. It was found that the heat flux from the forming strip to the copper substrate was higher than that to the steel substrate, while coated substrates registered lower heat fluxes than uncoated substrates. The highest heat flux from the strip was recorded for casting on macrotextured copper substrates with 0.15 mm grooves. As the thickness of the strip decreased, the net heat flux decreased. As the heat flux increased, the grain sizes of the strips were reduced, and the SDAS decreased. The mechanical properties were improved when the heat flux increased. The black layers which formed on the strips’ surfaces were analyzed and identified as nanoscale MgO particles. Nano-Scale particles act as light traps and appeared black.