Evolution of Precipitate Depleted Zones in Mg-Based Alloys Strengthened by Precipitation Hardening
Extensive research work has been devoted to Mg-based alloys strengthened by precipitation hardening. Increasing the aging time leads to the appearance of zones depleted of precipitates near grain boundaries. The formation of precipitate depleted zones (PDZ's) is explained by near-grain boundary (NGB) coarsening. The evolution of PDZ's was considered on the basis of the model taking into account diffusional fluxes between adjacent precipitates. The set of equations was solved numerically by using a fourth-order Runge-Kutta method for different initial sizes of precipitates and densities of precipitate layers near grain boundaries. The dissolution of precipitates in the NGB-zones is initially provided by diffusion from them to large precipitates at the grain boundary, and then also by diffusion from these decreased precipitates to the larger precipitates at the outer border of the PDZ. As a result, the outer borders of the depleted zones are adjoined by bands of enlarged precipitates forming a PDZ "crust". Being a diffusion controlled process, the depleted zones are widened with temperature and aging time. Experimental investigation of PDZ evolution was conducted by SEM and TEM on Mg-Zn-Sn-alloys aged at different temperatures for different times. Comparison of the calculated results with experimental data allowed the evaluation of the model parameters and physical parameters of the system (diffusion coefficients and interface energy of the precipitated phases).
A. Agüero, J.M. Albella, M.P. Hierro, J. Phillibert and F.J. Pérez Trujillo
A. Katsman et al., "Evolution of Precipitate Depleted Zones in Mg-Based Alloys Strengthened by Precipitation Hardening", Defect and Diffusion Forum, Vols. 289-292, pp. 153-159, 2009