Effect of Solution Treatment on Precipitation Behaviors, Age Hardening Response and Creep Properties of Elektron21 Alloy Reinforced by AlN Nanoparticles


In the present study, the solution and ageing treatments behavior of Mg-RE-Zr-Zn alloy (Elektron21) and its nano-AlN reinforced nanocomposites have been evaluated. The properties of the thermal-treated materials were investigated in terms of Vickers hardness, the area fraction of precipitates, microstructure and phase composition. The solution treatments were performed by treating at 520 °C, 550 °C and 580 °C in argon atmosphere. The outcomes show that the hardness of the solutionized alloys was slightly affected by the solution temperature. X-ray diffraction and image analysis revealed that the complete dissolution of precipitates was not possible, neither for Elektron21 (El21) nor for its AlN containing nanocomposites. The ageing treatment of El21 led to a significant improvement in hardness after 20 h, while for longer times, it progressively decreased. The effect of ageing on the hardness of El21–AlN composites was found to be much less than this effect on the hardness of the host alloy. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis of El21 and El21–1%AlN after solution treatment confirm the random orientation of grains with a typical texture of random distribution. The as-cast creep results showed that the incorporation of nanoparticles could effectively improve the creep properties, while the results after solution treatment at 520 °C for 12 h followed by ageing treatment at 200 °C for 20 h confirmed that the minimum creep rate of T6-El21 was almost equal to the as-cast El21–AlN.
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