K-Alloy Properties And Advantages
K-alloy or A304 is an alloy of aluminum that contains different percentages of other metals such as iron, magnesium, copper, nickel, zinc, etc. It has better corrosion resistivity and elongation than most other aluminum alloys.
Composition of K-Alloy/A304
The K-alloy or A304 alloy includes a few different metals with aluminum. The table below shows the percentage of each metal or element in the k-alloy composition.
|Name of Element||Percentage|
|Magnesium||0.35 – 0.50|
|Copper||0.05 – 0.08|
|Iron (Max)||0.8 – 1.0|
|Silicon||9.0 – 11.5|
|Manganese||0.50 – 0.60|
Properties of K-Alloy/A304
K-alloy has special physical and mechanical properties compared to other die casting alloys. The table below shows different mechanical and physical properties of k-alloy such as elongation, strength, thermal and electrical conductivity, etc.
|Mechanical Properties||Brinell Hardness (HB)||Yield Strength (MPa)||Tensile Strength (MPa)||Elongation (in 50 mm)|
|Physical Properties||Electrical Conductivity (%IACS)||Thermal Conductivity (W/m K)||Melting Point (°C)||Density (g/cm3)|
Advantage of K-Alloy/A304
The advantages of k-alloy are shown in the list below:
- Its high thermal conductivity allows better cooling.
- The A304 alloy components are sturdier than most other aluminum alloy components. It is because A304 or k-alloy has more elongation than others.
- Unlike most other aluminum alloy parts, manufacturers don’t need too much post-production processing such as painting or anodizing for k-alloy parts.
- K-alloy parts have less shrinkage than most other aluminum alloy parts.
- Melted k-alloy can precisely spread inside the die cavity because of having better flowability than most other alloys.
- No extra polishing is necessary for k-alloy or A304 alloy parts because the parts achieve an amazing surface finish after casting.
- A304 alloy components can withstand quite a rough or harsh environment because of their higher corrosion resistivity.
What Are the Applications of K-Alloy?
The composition of K-alloy makes it suitable as a casting material. Therefore, it is a preferable choice for die casting manufacturers to obtain high-quality parts. Its castability is similar to other conventional aluminum die casting alloys, yet it offers greater durability.
K-alloy offers a similar level of corrosion resistance that would achievable from surface finishing processes such as anodizing and chromating. Therefore, it saves both time and cost by minimizing the need for further post-processing after casting.
Due to the aforementioned parameters, it makes for a great option for industries requiring high-quality parts. For instance, automobile, aerospace, marine, military, etc. industries need parts that can sustain a very harsh environment.
Moreover, common finishing techniques like anodizing and chromating are not effective in certain environments. Therefore, k-alloy is widely used for die casting components and enclosures of products for superior durability.
Which Changes Occurs in K-Alloy after Heat Treatment?
Heat treatment is usually given to parts that will serve as structural components and thus requires high strength. A downside of most die casting aluminum parts is that they can’t be given heat treatment efficiently. However, K-alloy can be heat treated to further improve its performance.
Normally k-alloy castings have a 5% higher elongation property. Heat treating the castings would allow for more than 8% higher elongation than other aluminum alloys. The extra elongation properties signify its greater rigidity. Moreover, it would also allow for better fastener retention.
Does K-alloy Require Any Specific Type of Mold for Casting?
No, K-alloy doesn’t require any special mold for casting. The mold material can be anything that is used for casting other aluminum alloys. The offers a similar die life to other aluminum alloys as well. So, most manufacturers should be able to use K-alloy in their existing facilities.
The die life of K-alloy is almost equal to that of A380 alloy. It can be taken as a reference to calculate the expected die life for k-alloy casting.