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This research investigates the effects of factors on hardness of aluminum Al6061 which are treated by precipitation hardening or aging hardening. The 33 factorial design is used and the main factors are solution temperature (520, 540 and 560ºC), aging time (2, 8 and 14 hours), and aging temperature (175, 200, 225ºC). The dependent variable is hardness. Analysis of variance was used to analyze the data. The results showed that all factors affected hardness significantly. Two factor interactions which were significantly found included solution temperature and aging time, solution temperature and aging temperature, and aging time and aging temperature. The study found that higher hardness was obtained at a higher solution temperature because using high solution temperature made more Mg and Si diffuse into the matrix and became homogeneous phase. Then increasing aging time caused an increase in hardness values as well. However, using too high aging temperature resulted in a decrease in hardness because bonding force between Mg2Si particles with matrix aluminum was depleted. Furthermore, the results of microstructure from scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) revealed that Mg2Si particles were distributed all over aluminum. This resulted in greater hardness.
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