Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


319 Al-Si alloy, machining, mechanical properties, microstructure, sand casting, solidification


Sokolowski, Jerry




The research presented in this work is focused on making a link between casting microstructural, mechanical and machining properties for 319 Al-Si sand cast components. In order to achieve this, a unique Machinability Test Block (MTB) is designed to simulate the Nemak V6 Al-Si engine block solidification behavior. This MTB is then utilized to cast structures with in-situ nano-alumina particle master alloy additions that are Mg based, as well as independent in-situ Mg additions, and Sr additions to the MTB. The Universal Metallurgical Simulator and Analyzer (UMSA) Technology Platform is utilized for characterization of each cast structure at different Secondary Dendrite Arm Spacing (SDAS) levels. The rapid quench method and Jominy testing is used to assess the capability of the nano-alumina master alloy to modify the microstructure at different SDAS levels. Mechanical property assessment of the MTB is done at different SDAS levels on cast structures with master alloy additions described above. Weibull and Quality Index statistical analysis tools are then utilized to assess the mechanical properties. The MTB is also used to study single pass high speed face milling and bi-metallic cutting operations where the Al-Si hypoeutectic structure is combined with hypereutectoid Al-Si liners and cast iron cylinder liners. These studies are utilized to aid the implementation of Al-Si liners into the Nemak V6 engine block and bi-metallic cutting of the head decks. Machining behavior is also quantified for the investigated microstructures, and the Silicon Modification Level (SiML) is utilized for microstructural analysis as it relates to the machining behavior.