The equilibrium intermetallic phase in Mg-Nd-Ag alloys has not been well understood. In this work, intermetallic particles in the solution-treated microstructure of commercial magnesium alloy QE22 (Mg-2.5Ag-2.0Nd-0.7Zr, wt pct) have been investigated using scanning electron microscopy, electron diffraction, atomic-resolution imaging and mapping techniques of scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and thermodynamic modelling. The intermetallic particles are distributed in the inter-dendritic regions. They have coarse irregular shape and share the same crystal structure. The intermetallic phase (designated δ) is determined to have an orthorhombic structure (space group Cmcm, a = 1.02 nm, b = 1.18 nm, c = 1.00 nm) and a composition of NdAgMg11, which are different from those reported previously. An atomic model is proposed for the δ phase based on atomic-resolution STEM images and atomic-scale energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy maps. The δ lattice is structurally related to that of Mg12Nd phase in binary Mg-Nd alloys. The Gibbs energy of formation of NdAgMg11 is determined from the equilibrium study at 793 K (520 °C), including the entropy of formation using the present experimental phase analysis data obtained at lower temperature. Implications to the formation temperature range and thermal stability of this phase and alloy solidification are discussed based on the calculated Mg-Nd-Ag phase diagram and Scheil solidification paths of alloys.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2020|