7000 series aluminium alloys are currently machined from the wrought state with much waste. There is therefore a motivation to identify effective near net shaping routes. Semi-solid processing is one such potential route. It relies on the thixotropic behaviour of alloys with non-dendritic spheroidal microstructures. In the semisolid state the material thins when sheared and will flow to fill the die. When worked material is reheated, it recrystallises and moving into the semi-solid state, the required spheroidal microstructure develops. Here we examine the early stages of spheroid formation in 7075 aluminium alloy reheated from the as-supplied T6 condition. This alloy is very resistant to recrystallisation in the solid state due to the presence of dispersoid particles pinning grain boundaries. There is a sudden increase in the appearance of spheroidal grains. There is a close association with the position of the first liquid to form. On reheating as-supplied material to around 580°C (fraction of liquid ~5%), a fully spheroidal microstructure can be obtained
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