On the microstructural factors affecting creep resistance of die-cast Mg–La-rare earth (Nd, Y or Gd) alloys


Creep properties of high-pressure die-cast Mg–La-RE (Nd, Y or Gd) alloys, varying in ternary RE additions and in different heat treatment conditions, have been investigated. Through the use of short-term solution treatments (1 h at 520 °C) it was shown that the continuous intermetallic phase present in the eutectic at grain boundaries became discontinuous. This effect, in combination with the likely removal of the localised region of supersaturated solute in solid solution near grain boundaries, reduced the creep resistance. When relatively high concentrations of ternary alloying additions were used, solid solution strengthening and precipitation hardening appeared to compensate for the negative effect of reduced grain boundary reinforcement. Microstructural investigation revealed that Nd-containing alloys had fewer and larger dynamic precipitates present in the α-Mg matrix following creep testing at 177 °C and 90 MPa. It was concluded that grain boundary reinforcement in combination with the thermal stability of the precipitates formed, which is ultimately related to the diffusivity of solute in solid solution, are also contributing factors to creep resistance.
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