AbstractMicrostructure, mechanical and corrosion properties of four alloys, Mg–2Gd–2Zn, Mg–2Gd–6Zn, Mg–10Gd–2Zn and Mg–10Gd–6Zn (all are in weight percentages), prepared by gravity permanent mold casting were investigated. The results indicated that the intermetallic phases in the Mg–2Gd–2Zn alloy consisted mainly of (Mg, Zn)3Gd phase whereas the Mg–2Gd–6Zn alloy consisted of both I (Mg3Zn6Gd) and (Mg, Zn)3Gd phases. In addition, few Mg–Gd and Mg–Zn binary phases were also present in both the alloys. Lamellar long period stacking ordered (LPSO) phase was observed in alloys containing high concentrations of Gd (Mg–10Gd–2Zn and Mg–10Gd–6Zn alloys) in addition to the continuously distributed (Mg,Zn)3Gd phase along the interdendritic regions and grain boundaries. A small fraction of X phase (Mg12ZnGd) was also present in Mg–10Gd–2Zn alloy. Mg–10Gd–xZn alloys (x=2,6) exhibited higher yield strength due to the higher solute contents and the presence of LPSO phase in the matrix, but showed poor elongation due to the coarse continuous second phase at the boundary. Low Gd-containing alloys showed better elongation to failure and moderate strength due to the lower volume fraction of fine scale second phases. Corrosion resistances of the alloys decreased with increase in the total amount of alloying elements. Increase in Zn content from 2% to 6% in Mg–2Gd–xZn alloys did not alter the corrosion properties much; however, this increase in the high Gd-containing alloys had significant detrimental effects on the corrosion properties due to the significant increase in the volume of the second phases. In all the alloys, galvanic corrosion due to the second phase and filiform corrosion dominated the earlier stages of corrosion, and after long immersion times, the second phase, (Mg,Zn)3Gd, was found to become unstable and dissolved, leading to intergranular corrosion.