Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 46, Issue 17, pp 5798–5806 | Cite as

Grain refinement and mechanical properties enhancement of AZ91E alloy by addition of ceramic particles

  • Dmitry Shepelev
  • Julia Klempf
  • Menachem Bamberger
  • Alex KatsmanEmail author


Improved mechanical properties and structural uniformity of Mg-based alloys can be achieved by use of grain-refining additives prior to casting. Ceramic particles of α-Al2O3 and SiC can serve as such additives to refine the microstructure of Mg–Al-based alloys. However, direct introduction of ceramic particles into Mg matrix is limited by the poor wetting of those particles by liquid Mg and their massive agglomeration. Mg/α-Al2O3 and Mg/SiC master alloys were prepared using a method based on the insertion of the ceramic particles into a molten Mg bath through a Mg-nitride layer formed on the surface of the molten bath. The mixture of Mg/ceramic particles was cooled to room temperature under a nitrogen atmosphere. Mg-15%Al2O3 and AZ91E + 10%SiC master alloys were obtained. These master alloys were used to refine AZ91E alloys by introducing various amounts of ceramic particles to manufacture AZ91E + 1%Al2O3, AZ91E + 1%SiC, and AZ91E + 3%SiC alloys. These were cast using high-pressure die casting and gravity die casting. The alloy AZ91E + 1%Al2O3 was grain refined to ~20 μm and the alloys AZ91E + SiC were grain refined to ~50 μm as against 110 μm in non-refined counterparts. The mechanical properties of the modified alloys are substantially better than those of a non-refined AZ91E alloy which is the result of a combination of grain refinement and reinforcement of the matrix by ceramic particles. Alloy AZ91E + 1%Al2O3 exhibited the best mechanical properties.


Master Alloy Ceramic Particle Grain Boundary Slide Alumina Nanoparticles Gravity Cast 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dmitry Shepelev
    • 1
  • Julia Klempf
    • 1
  • Menachem Bamberger
    • 1
  • Alex Katsman
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Materials EngineeringIsrael Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

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