Studies on grain refinement and alloying additions on the microstructure and mechanical properties of Mg-8Zn-4Al alloy

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Studies on grain refinement and alloying additions on the microstructure and mechanical properties of Mg-8Zn-4Al alloy

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Title: Studies on grain refinement and alloying additions on the microstructure and mechanical properties of Mg-8Zn-4Al alloy
Author: Balasubramani, N; Dr. Pillai, U T S
Abstract: MAGNESIUM ALLOYS have strong potential for weight reduction in a wide range of technical applications because of their low density compared to other structural metallic materials. Therefore, an extensive growth of magnesium alloys usage in the automobile sector is expected in the coming years to enhance the fuel efficiency through mass reduction. The drawback associated with the use of commercially cheaper Mg-Al based alloys, such as AZ91, AM60 and AM50 are their inferior creep properties above 100ºC due to the presence of discontinuous Mg17A112 phases at the grain boundaries. Although rare earth-based magnesium alloys show better mechanical properties, it is not economically viable to use these alloys in auto industries. Recently, many new Mg-Al based alloy systems have been developed for high temperature applications, which do not contain the Mg17Al12 phase. It has been proved that the addition of a high percentage of zinc (which depends upon the percentage of Al) to binary Mg-Al alloys also ensures the complete removal of the Mg17Al12 phase and hence exhibits superior high temperature properties.ZA84 alloy is one such system, which has 8%Zn in it (Mg-8Zn-4Al-0.2Mn, all are in wt %) and shows superior creep resistance compared to AZ and AM series alloys. These alloys are mostly used in die casting industries. However, there are certain large and heavy components, made up of this alloy by sand castings that show lower mechanical properties because of their coarse microstructure. Moreover, further improvement in their high temperature behaviour through microstructural modification is also an essential task to make this alloy suitable for the replacement of high strength aluminium alloys used in automobile industry. Grain refinement is an effective way to improve the tensile behaviour of engineering alloys. In fact, grain refinement of Mg-Al based alloys is well documented in literature. However, there is no grain refiner commercially available in the market for Mg-Al alloys. It is also reported in the literature that the microstructure of AZ91 alloy is modified through the minor elemental additions such as Sb, Si, Sr, Ca, etc., which enhance its high temperature properties because of the formation of new stable intermetallics. The same strategy can be used with the ZA84 alloy system to improve its high temperature properties further without sacrificing the other properties. The primary objective of the present research work, “Studies on grain refinement and alloying additions on the microstructure and mechanical properties of Mg-8Zn-4Al alloy” is twofold: 1. To investigate the role of individual and combined additions of Sb and Ca on the microstructure and mechanical properties of ZA84 alloy. 2. To synthesis a novel Mg-1wt%Al4C3 master alloy for grain refinement of ZA84 alloy and investigate its effects on mechanical properties.
URI: http://dyuthi.cusat.ac.in/purl/2382
Date: 2009


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