Significance of Low Copper Content on Grain Boundary Nanostructure and Intergranular Corrosion of AlMgSi(Cu) Model Alloys
Intergranular corrosion (IGC) of model alloys in the 6000-series, with and without 0.2 wt% Cu, was studied using an accelerated corrosion test (BS ISO 11846 B), FE-SEM and FE-TEM. Low Cu alloys (0.02wt%) did not exhibit IGC even though they contained excess Si. The high-Cu, naturally aged material (T4) was susceptible to severe superficial etching. In the underaged state (below peak strength), the Cu-containing material was highly susceptible to IGC. Materials aged to peak strength (T6) or overaged were only slightly susceptible to IGC, with localized, shallow attacks. FE-TEM investigation of the underaged material revealed scattered, small AlMgSiCu-type precipitates, as well as a Cu-enriched film along the grain boundaries. The overaged material showed more extensive, coarse grain boundary precipitation. However, the Cu-enriched film was still present at localized sites. The reduced susceptibility to IGC upon artificial ageing was attributed to breaking of the continuity of the grain boundary film. The possible role of matrix precipitation is also discussed.
W.J. Poole, M.A. Wells and D.J. Lloyd
M. H. Larsen et al., "Significance of Low Copper Content on Grain Boundary Nanostructure and Intergranular Corrosion of AlMgSi(Cu) Model Alloys", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 519-521, pp. 667-672, 2006