The microstructural evolution during age hardening of a Cu-bearing Al-Mg-Si alloy has been investigated by the three-dimensional atom probe (3DAP) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) techniques, in order to clarify the effect of Cu on the initial age-hardening response. After 30 minutes of artificial aging at 175 °C, the alloy shows a significant increase in hardness. The TEM observations have revealed that very fine, needle-shaped β″ precipitates are formed in addition to spherical Guinier-Preston (GP) zones, whereas only the spherical GP zones are observed in the Al-Mg-Si ternary alloy using the same aging condition. The number density of the precipitates is significantly affected by the preaging conditions. The 3DAP analysis shows that the distribution of Cu atoms is uniform after 30 minutes of artificial aging at 175 °C, whereas Cu atoms are incorporated into the needle-shaped β″ precipitates after 10 hours of aging at 175 °C. Based on these microanalytical results, the effect of Cu additions on the age-hardening response of Al-Mg-Si alloys is discussed.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Metals and Alloys