Al- and Al/Zn-enriched layers containing intermetallic phases were deposited on the Mg substrate by heating the Mg specimens in contact with the powdered materials in a vacuum furnace. The Al-enriched surface layers were produced using Al powder, whereas the Al/Znenriched layers were obtained from an 80 wt.% Al + 20 wt.% Zn powder mixture. The microstructure and composition of the layers were analyzed by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The results showed that the Al-enriched layer comprised an Mg17Al12 intermetallic phase and a solid solution of Al in Mg. The layer obtained from the Al+Zn powder mixture was composed of Mg-Al-Zn intermetalic phases and a solid solution of Al and Zn in Mg. Adding 20% of Zn into the Al powder resulted in the formation of a considerably thicker layer. Moreover, the hardness of the surface layers was much higher than that of the Mg substrate.
The study involved using the liquid-solid compound casting process to fabricate a lightweight ZE41/AlSi12 bimetallic material. ZE41 melt heated to 660 oC was poured onto a solid AlSi12 insert placed in a steel mold. The mold with the insert inside was preheated to 300 oC. The microstructure of the bonding zone between the alloys was examined using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The chemical composition was determined through linear and point analyses with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscope (EDS). The bonding zone between the magnesium and aluminum alloys was about 250 μm thick. The results indicate that the microstructure of the bonding zone changes throughout its thickness. The structural constituents of the bonding zone are: a thin layer of a solid solution of Al and Zn in Mg and particles of Mg-Zn-RE intermetallic phases (adjacent to the ZE41 alloy), a eutectic region (Mg17(Al,Zn)12 intermetallic phase and a solid solution of Al and Zn in Mg), a thin region containing fine, white particles, probably Al-RE intermetallic phases, a region with Mg2Si particles distributed over the eutectic matrix, and a region with Mg2Si particles distributed over the Mg-Al intermetallic phases matrix (adjacent to the AlSi12 alloy). The microstructural analysis performed in the length direction reveals that, for the process parameters tested, the bonding zone forming between the alloys was continuous. Low porosity was observed locally near the ZE41 alloy. The shear strength of the AZ91/AlSi17 joint varied from 51.3 to 56.1 MPa.
Bimetallic AZ91/AlSi17 samples were produced by compound casting. The casting process involved pouring the AZ91 magnesium alloy heated to 650oC onto a solid AlSi17 aluminum alloy insert placed in a steel mould. Prior to casting, the mould with the insert inside was heated to about 370oC. The bonding zone formed between AZ91 and AlSi17 had a thickness of about 200 μm; it was characterized by a non-homogeneous microstructure. Two different areas were distinguished in this zone: the area adjacent to the AZ91 and the area close to the AlSi17. In the area closest to the AZ91 alloy, a eutectic composed of an Mg17Al12 intermetallic phase and a solid solution of Al in Mg was observed. In bonding zone at a certain distance from the AZ91 alloy an Mg2Si phase co-occurred with the eutectic. In the area adjacent to the AlSi17 alloy, the structure consisted of Al3Mg2, Mg17Al12 and Mg2Si. The fine Mg2Si phase particles were distributed over the entire Mg-Al intermetallic phase matrix. The microhardness of the bonding zone was much higher than those of the materials joined; the microhardness values were in the range 203-298 HV. The shear strength of the AZ91/AlSi17 joint varied from 32.5 to 36 MPa.
The thermochemical treatment applied to improve the surface properties of AZ91 consisted in heating the material in contact with AlSi10Mg powder at 445 oC for 30 min. During heat treatment process the powder was held under pressure to facilitate the diffusion of the alloying elements to the substrate and, accordingly, the formation of a modified layer. Two pressures, 1 MPa and 5 MPa, were tested. The resultant layers, containing hard Mg2Si and Mg17Al12 phases, were examined using an optical microscope and a scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS). The experimental data show that the layer microstructure was dependent on the pressure applied. A thicker, three-zone layer (about 200 μm) was obtained at 1 MPa. At the top, there were Mg2Si phase particles distributed over the Mg17Al12 intermetallic phase matrix. The next zone was a eutectic (Mg17Al12 and a solid solution of Al in Mg) with Mg2Si phase particles embedded in it. Finally, the area closest to the AZ91 substrate was a eutectic not including the Mg2Si phase particles. By contrast, the layer produced at a pressure of 5 MPa had lower thickness of approx. 150 μm and a two-zone structure. Mg2Si phase particles were present in both zones. In the upper zone, Mg2Si phase particles were regularly distributed over the Mg17Al12 intermetallic phase matrix. The lower zone, adjacent to the AZ91, was characterized by a higher volume fraction of Mg2Si phase particles distributed over the matrix composed mainly of Mg17Al12. The alloyed layers enriched with Al and Si had much higher hardness than the AZ91 substrate.
Flake graphite cast iron was hot-dip coated with pure aluminium or aluminium alloys (AlSi11 and AlTi5). The study aimed at determining the influence of bath composition on the thickness, microstructure and phase composition of the coatings. The analysis was conducted by means of an optical microscope and a scanning electron microscope with an EDS spectrometer. It was found that the overall thickness of a coating was greatly dependent on the chemical composition of a bath. The coatings consisted of an outer layer and an inner intermetallic layer, the latter with two zones and dispersed graphite. In all the cases considered, the zone in the inner intermetallic layer adjacent to the cast iron substrate contained the Al5Fe2 phase with small amount of silicon; the interface between this phase and the cast iron substrate differed substantially, depending on the bath composition. In the coatings produced by hot-dipping in pure aluminium the zone adjacent to the outer layer had a composition similar to that produced from an AlTi5 bath, the Al3Fe phase was identified in this zone. The Al3Fe also contained silicon but its amount was lower than that in the Al5Fe2. In the coatings produced by hot-dipping in AlSi11, the zone adjacent to the outer layer contained the Al3FeSi phase. The analysis results showed that when AlSi11 alloy was applied, the growth mode of the inner layer changed from inwards to outwards. The interface between the Al5Fe2 phase and the cast iron substrate was flat and the zone of this phase was very thin. Locally, there were deep penetrations of the Al5FeSi phase into the outer layer, and the interface between this phase and the outer layer was irregular. Immersion in an AlTi5 bath caused that the inner intermetallic layer was thicker than when pure aluminium or AlSi11 alloy baths were used; also, some porosity was observed in this layer; and finally, the interface between the inner layer and the cast iron substrate was the most irregular.
The modified surface layers of Mg enriched with Al and Si were fabricated by thermochemical treatment. The substrate material in contact with an Al + 20 wt.% Si powder mixture was heated to 445ºC for 40 or 60 min. The microstructure of the layers was examined by OM and SEM. The chemical composition of the layer and the distribution of elements were determined by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The experimental results show that the thickness of the layer is dependent on the heating time. A much thicker layer (1 mm) was obtained when the heating time was 60 min than when it was 40 min (600 μm). Both layers had a non-homogeneous structure. In the area closest to the Mg substrate, a thin zone of a solid solution of Al in Mg was detected. It was followed by a eutectic with Mg17Al12and a solid solution of Al in Mg. The next zone was a eutectic with agglomerates of Mg2Si phase particles; this three-phase structure was the thickest. Finally, the area closest to the surface was characterized by dendrites of the Mg17Al12phase. The microhardness of the modified layer increased to 121-236 HV as compared with 33-35 HV reported for the Mg substrate.
This paper discusses the joining of AZ91 magnesium alloy with AlSi17 aluminium alloy by compound casting. Molten AZ91 was cast at 650oC onto a solid AlSi17 insert placed in a steel mould under normal atmospheric conditions. Before casting, the mould with the insert inside was heated up to about 370oC. The bonding zone forming between the two alloys because of diffusion had a multiphase structure and a thickness of about 200 µm. The microstructure and composition of the bonding zone were analysed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The results indicate that the bonding zone adjacent to the AlSi17 alloy was composed of an Al3Mg2 intermetallic phase with not fully consumed primary Si particles, surrounded by a rim of an Mg2Si intermetallic phase and fine Mg2Si particles. The bonding zone near the AZ91 alloy was composed of a eutectic (an Mg17Al12 intermetallic phase and a solid solution of Al and Si in Mg). It was also found that the compound casting process slightly affected the AZ91alloy microstructure; a thin layer adjacent to the bonding zone of the alloy was enriched with aluminium.
Al-enriched layer was formed on a magnesium substrate with use of casting. The magnesium melt was cast into a steel mould with an aluminium insert placed inside. Different conditions of the casting process were applied. The reaction between the molten magnesium and the aluminium piece during casting led to the formation of an Al-enriched surface layer on the magnesium substrate. The thickness of the layer was dependent on the casting conditions. In all fabricated layers the following phases were detected: a solid solution of Mg in Al, Al3Mg2, Mg17Al12 and a solid solution of Mg in Al. When the temperature of the melt and the mould was lower (variant 1 – 670o C and 310 o ; variant 2 – 680o C and 310o C, respectively) the unreacted thin layer of aluminium was observed in the outer zone. Applying higher temperatures of the melt (685o C) and the mould (325o C) resulted in deep penetration of aluminium into the magnesium substrate. Areas enriched in aluminium were locally observed. The Al-enriched layers composed mainly of Mg-Al intermetallic phases have hardness from 187-256 HV0.1.