Inhomogeneity of microstructure and mechanical properties of a 500 mm diameter heavy section semi-continuous cast AZ61 magnesium alloy ingot

Peng Jian; Tao Jianquan; Tong Xiaoshan; Pan Fusheng
January 2014
China Foundry;Jan2014, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p33
Academic Journal
For the large magnesium alloy ingot, there is a considerable difference in cooling rate of different parts in the ingot, which leads to non-uniform distribution of the secondary phases, solute segregation and tensile properties. In the present research, an heavy AZ61 alloy ingot with a diameter of 500 mm was made by semi-continuous casting. The microstructure and mechanical properties at different positions along the radial direction of the large ingot were investigated by using an optical microscope (OM), a scanning electron microscope (SEM), an energy dispersive spectroscope (EDS), and a micro-hardness tester. The results indicate that the microstructure of the AZ61 ingot is non-uniform in different locations. It changes from equiaxed to columnar grains from the center to the edge; the average grain size gradually reduces from 1,005 μm to 763 μm, the secondary dendrite arm spacing reduces from 78 μm to 50 μm, and the Mg17(Al,Zn)12 phase is also refined. The micro-hardness value increases from 55.4 HV at the center to 72.5 HV at the edge of the ingot due to the microstructure differences, and the distribution of micro-hardness at the edge of the ingot is more uniform than that in the center. The tensile properties at room temperature show little difference from the center to the edge of the ingot except that the elongation at the edge is only 3.5%, much lower than that at other areas. The fracture mechanism is ductile fracture at the center and cleavage fracture at the edge of the ingot, and at the 1/2 radius of the ingot, a mixture of ductile and cleavage fracture is present.


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