Effect of an Addition of Silver on the Age Hardening and the Formation of a Soft Surface Layer in an Al-12mass%Zn Alloy
The aging of Al-Zn alloys has been vastly studied for decades. In the previous paper, 0hta et al. studied carefully the hardness of the alloy during aging and revealed the existence of softer regions near the surface and the grain boundary than the interior of the specimen even after aging for a long time. Electrical resistivity measurement and X-ray small angle scattering experiment together with hardness test suggested that in these regions vacancy decay to the surface and grain boundaries was severe, thus the growth of GP zones were suppressed and therefore age hardening was retarded. Also, it is well-known that an addition of a small amount of Ag raised solvus temperature of GP zones. In this paper, soft surface layer formed in an Al-12mass%Zn alloy is studied by adding small amount of Ag by means of hardness test and resistometry. Addition of Ag more than 0.1% decreases the thickness of soft surface layer as well as accelerates age hardening rate and suppresses the formation of soft region near the grain boundaries. Higher quenching temperature also reduces the thickness of soft surface layer. Together with the behavior of aging curves of the specimen with various thicknesses, the origin of the soft surface layer is confirmed to be the effective role of surface as sinks for vacancies.
W.J. Poole, M.A. Wells and D.J. Lloyd
T. Kanadani et al., "Effect of an Addition of Silver on the Age Hardening and the Formation of a Soft Surface Layer in an Al-12mass%Zn Alloy", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 519-521, pp. 1883-1888, 2006