As-cast AZ91D Magnesium Alloy Properties- Effect of Microstructure and Temperature

University dissertation from Jönköping : Jönköping University, School of Engineering

Abstract: Magnesium and magnesium alloys are used in a wide variety of structural applications including automotive, aerospace, hand tools and electronic industries thanks to their light weight, high specific strength, adequate corrosion resistance and good castability. Al and Zn are the primary alloying elements in commercial Mg alloys and commonly used in automotive industries. AZ91 is one of the most popular Mg alloys containing 9% Al and 1% Zn. Hence, lots of research have been done during last decades on AZ91D. However, the existing data concerning mechanical properties and microstructural features showed large scatter and is even contradictory. This work focused on the correlation between the microstructure and the mechanical properties of as-cast AZ91 alloy. An exhaustive characterization of the grain size, secondary dendrite arm spacing (SDAS) distribution, and fraction of Mg17Al12 using optical and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) was performed. These microstructural parameters were correlated to offset yield point (Rp0.2), fracture strength and elongation to fracture. It was understood that the intermetallic phase, Mg17Al12, plays an important role in determining the mechanical and physical properties of the alloy at temperature range from room temperature up to 190oC. It was realized that by increasing the Mg17Al12 content above 11% a network of intermetallic may form. During deformation this rigid network should break before any plastic deformation happen. Hence, increase in Mg17Al12 content resulted in an increase in offset yield point. The presence of this network was supported by study of thermal expansion behaviour of the alloy containing different amount of Mg17Al12. A physically-based model was adapted and validated in order to predict the flow stress behaviour of as-cast AZ91D at room temperature up to 190ºC for various microstructures. The model was based on dislocation glide and climb in a single-phase (matrix) material containing reinforcing particles. The temperature dependant variables of the model were quite well correlated to the underlying physics of the material.