SpringerOpen Newsletter

Receive periodic news and updates relating to SpringerOpen.

Open Access Nano Express

Heterogeneous nucleation of β-type precipitates on nanoscale Zr-rich particles in a Mg-6Zn-0.5Cu-0.6Zr alloy

Hongmei Zhu123, Gang Sha2, Jiangwen Liu1, Hongwei Liu2, Cuilan Wu4*, Chengping Luo1, Zongwen Liu2*, Rongkun Zheng2 and Simon P Ringer2

Author affiliations

1 School of Materials Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510640, China

2 Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, The University of Sydney, New South Wales, 2006, Australia

3 School of Mechanical Engineering, University of South China, Hengyang, 421001, China

4 Center of High Resolution Electron Microscopy, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha, 410082, China

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:300  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-300

Published: 8 June 2012

Abstract

Zirconium (Zr) is an important alloying element to Mg-Zn-based alloy system. In this paper, we report the formation of the β-type precipitates on the nanoscale Zr-rich particles in a Mg-6Zn-0.5Cu-0.6Zr alloy during ageing at 180°C. Scanning transmission electron microscopy examinations revealed that the nanoscale Zr-rich [0001]α rods/laths are dominant in the Zr-rich core regions of the as-quenched sample after a solution treatment at 430°C. More significantly, these Zr-rich particles served as favourable sites for heterogeneous nucleation of the Zn-rich β-type phase during subsequent isothermal ageing at 180°C. This research provides a potential route to engineer precipitate microstructure for better strengthening effect in the Zr-containing Mg alloys.

Keywords:
Mg alloys; Zn-rich precipitates; nanoscale Zr-rich particles; heterogeneous nucleation; electron microscopy