Simultaneous increase in strength and ductility by decreasing interface energy between Zn and Al phases in cast Al-Zn-Cu alloy.

Author(s) Han, S.Zeon; Choi, E.A.; Park, H.Woong; Lim, S.Hwan; Lee, J.; Ahn, J.Hyuk; Hwang, N.M.; Kim, K.
Journal Sci Rep
Date Published 2017 Sep 22

Cast-Al alloys that include a high amount of the second element in their matrix have comparatively high strength but low ductility because of the high volume fraction of strengthening phases or undesirable inclusions. Al-Zn alloys that have more than 30 wt% Zn have a tensile strength below 300 MPa, with elongation under 5% in the as-cast state. However, we found that after substitution of 2% Zn by Cu, the tensile strength of as-cast Al-Zn-Cu alloys was 25% higher and ductility was four times higher than for the corresponding Al-35% Zn alloy. Additionally, for the Al-43% Zn alloy with 2% Cu after 1 h solution treatment at 400 °C and water quenching, the tensile strength unexpectedly reached values close to 600 MPa. For the Al-33% Zn alloy with 2% Cu, the tensile strength was 500 MPa with 8% ductility. The unusual trends of the mechanical properties of Al-Zn alloys with Cu addition observed during processing from casting to the subsequent solution treatment were attributed to the precipitation of Zn in the Al matrix. The interface energy between the Zn particles and the Al matrix decreased when using a solution of Cu in Zn.

DOI 10.1038/s41598-017-12286-7
ISSN 2045-2322
Citation Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):12195.

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