The Influence of Sc and Zr Additions on the Microstructure and Mechanical Behavior of Ultrafine Grained Al-Mg Alloys Processed by Powder Metallurgy
Additions of Sc and Zr to an Al-Mg matrix were investigated, paying particular attention to the influence of Al3Sc precipitates and other dispersoids, as well as grain size, on mechanical behavior. Prior studies have shown that Sc and Zr significantly increase the strength of coarse-grained Al-Mg alloys. Prompted by these findings, we hypothesized that it would be of fundamental and technological interest to study the behavior of Sc additions to an ultra-fine-grained (UFG) microstructure (e.g., 100's nm). Accordingly, we investigate the microstructural evolution and mechanical behavior of four powder metallurgy UFG Al-Mg-Sc-(Zr) compositions and compared the results to those of equivalent fine-grained (FG) compositions - Al-5Mg-0.1Sc, Al-3Mg-0.5Sc, Al-5Mg-0.4Sc and Al-5Mg-0.2Sc-0.2Zr (wt.%). Experimental materials were consolidated by hot isostatic pressing (HIP'ing) followed by extrusion or dual mode dynamic (DMD) forging. Under identical processing conditions, UFG ternary Al-5Mg-0.4Sc materials generate large Al3Sc precipitates with an average diameter of 154 nm and spaced approximately 1 - 3 μm apart, while precipitates in the FG materials have an average diameter of 24 nm and are spaced 50 - 200 nm apart. The strengthening mechanisms are quantitatively evaluated for all materials and it is determined that the greatest strengthening contributions for the UFG and FG materials are dispersion strengthening due to the presence of Mg-rich oxides/nitrides and precipitate strengthening, respectively. Preliminary results suggest that replacing 0.2 wt% Sc with Zr results in higher strength, lower ductility and a change in precipitate distribution.
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- Engineering, Materials Science;Nanoscience