AbstractThe deformation behaviour of as-cast ZK40 alloys modified with individual additions of Ca and Gd is investigated at 250 °C and 300 °C. Compression tests were carried out at 0.0001 s−1 and 0.001 s−1 using a modified Gleeble system during in-situ synchrotron radiation diffraction experiments. The deformation mechanisms are corroborated by post-mortem investigations using scanning electron microscopy combined with electron backscattered diffraction measurements. The restoration mechanisms in α-Mg are listed as follows: the formation of misorientation spread within α-Mg, the formation of low angle grain boundaries via dynamic recovery, twinning, as well as dynamic recrystallisation. The Gd and Ca additions increase the flow stress of the ZK40, which is more evident at 0.001 s−1 and 300 °C. Dynamic recovery is the predominant restoration mechanism in all alloys. Continuous dynamic recrystallisation only occurs in the ZK40 at 250 °C, competing with discontinuous dynamic recrystallisation. Discontinuous dynamic recrystallisation occurs for the ZK40 and ZK40-Gd. The Ca addition hinders discontinuous dynamic recrystallisation for the investigated temperatures and up to the local achieved strain. Gd addition forms a semi-continuous network of intermetallic compounds along the grain boundaries that withstand the load until their fragmentation, retarding discontinuous dynamic recrystallisation.