Improving ageing kinetics and precipitation hardening in an Al-Mg-Si alloy by minor Cd addition
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMaterialia. 2018, 4 33-37. 10.1016/j.mtla.2018.09.006
This study reports significant improvements in both the age hardening kinetics and peak hardness of an Al-Mg-Si alloy by microalloying with 0.06 at% Cd. A detailed high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy study shows that most of the needle-shaped hardening precipitates β" (∼82%) formed in the Cd-containing alloy are attached to or around Cd-rich precipitates, indicating that the Cd-rich precipitates can act as effective nucleation sites for needle-shaped precipitates, and therefore substantially increase the number density and decrease the size of needle-shaped precipitates. It also shows that most of the β" precipitates in the Cd-containing alloy have a disordered structure, even at the peak-aged state. Additionally, Cu and/or Cd atoms are found to be incorporated into β" and some precipitates with Q'/C-like triangular sub-units are formed, which are very rare in Al-Mg-Si alloys with a trace Cu content of 0.01 wt%.