Understanding effects of microstructural inhomogeneity on creep response – New approaches to improve the creep resistance in magnesium alloys


Previous investigations indicate that the creep resistance of magnesium alloys is proportional to the stability of precipitated intermetallic phases at grain boundaries. These stable intermetallic phases were considered to be effective to suppress the deformation by grain boundary sliding, leading to the improvement of creep properties. Based on this point, adding the alloying elements to form the stable intermetallics with high melting point became a popular way to develop the new creep resistant magnesium alloys. The present investigation, however, shows that the creep properties of binary Mg–Sn alloy are still poor even though the addition of Sn possibly results in the precipitation of thermal stable Mg2Sn at grain boundaries. That means other possible mechanisms function to affect the creep response. It is finally found that the poor creep resistance is attributed to the segregation of Sn at dendritic and grain boundaries. Based on this observation, new approaches to improve the creep resistance are suggested for magnesium alloys because most currently magnesium alloys have the commonality with the Mg–Sn alloys.
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