Effects of Germanium, Copper, and Silver Substitutions on Hardness and Microstructure in Lean Al-Mg-Si Alloys
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMetallurgical and Materials Transactions. A. 2015, 46 (9), 4369-4379. 10.1007/s11661-015-3039-5
It is shown that strength loss in a 6060 Al-Mg-Si alloy caused by reduction in solute can be compensated by adding back smaller quantities of Ag, Ge, and Cu. Nine alloys were investigated. Ge was found to be the most effective addition, strongly refining the precipitation. The hardness is discussed in terms of statistics of the precipitates near a T6 condition, as acquired by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Precipitates in some conditions were also investigated by high-angle annular dark-field scanning TEM. The added elements have strong influence on the main hardening precipitate, β″, changing its structure and promoting disorder.