Corrosion of AZ91 - Influence of the β-Phase Morphology
The influence of the microstructure, particularly the morphology of the β phase, on the corrosion of Mg alloys has been studied using AZ91 as a model alloy and compared with the corrosion of pure magnesium, used as a standard for comparison. The concentration of the impurity element Fe was below the limit evaluated from theoretical phase diagram construction. Corrosion was measured using hydrogen evolution measurements and some polarization measurements. Corrosion behaviour was characterized for four different microstructures produced by heat treatment of as-cast AZ91: namely (i) as-cast, (ii) homogenization anneal (for 5h and 10h at 380°C), (iii) solid solution and (iv) solution treated and aged. The influence of microstructure can be understood from the interaction of the following three factors: (i) the surface films, (ii) micro-galvanic corrosion acceleration dependant on the amount and distribution of the second phase (the phase in AZ91) and (iii) the second phase can act as a corrosion barrier and hinder corrosion propagation in the matrix, if the second phase is in the form of a continuous network. It is expected that these factors are important for all multi-phase Mg alloys because all known second phases have corrosion potentials more positive than that of the -phase. The electrochemical measurements did not give good values for the corrosion rate in agreement with the literature.
M.S. Dargusch & S.M. Keay
M.C. Zhao et al., "Corrosion of AZ91 - Influence of the β-Phase Morphology", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 618-619, pp. 473-478, 2009