Effects of alloying elements on creep properties of Mg-Gd-Zr Alloys

Wen Fan Xu, Yu Zhang, Jessica Renae Terbush, Li Ming Peng, Wen Jiang Ding, Jian Feng Nie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The minimum creep rate and microstructures of aged samples of Mg-Gd-Zr alloys, with and without alloying additions of Zn and/or Y, have been investigated in the present work. The creep tests were performed at 523 K (250 °C) and under 80 to 120 MPa, and the microstructures before and after creep tests were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and the high-angle annular dark-field imaging technique. It is found that dislocation creep predominates in the steady-state creep stage for all alloys. The Mg-2.5Gd-0.1Zr (at. pct) alloy, strengthened by the β′ precipitates, has minimum creep rates in the range 1.0 × 10-8 to 3.8 × 10-8 s-1 under 80 to 120 MPa. The addition of 1.0 at. pct Zn to the Mg-2.5Gd-0.1Zr alloy reduces the 0.2 pct proof strength and increases the minimum creep rate, resulting from the formation of γ′ basal plates at the expense of β′ precipitates. The replacement of 1.0 at. pct Gd by Y in the Mg-2.5Gd-1.0Zn-0.1Zr alloy leads to a substantial reduction in the minimum creep rate, even though it does not cause much change to the 0.2 pct proof strength. The reduced minimum creep rate is attributed to a much lower diffusivity of Y atoms than Gd in the solid magnesium matrix. An increase in the Gd content from Mg-1.5Gd-1.0Y-1.0Zn- 0.1Zr to Mg-2.5Gd-1.0Y-1.0Zn-0.1Zr leads to a denser distribution of precipitates, a higher 0.2 pct proof strength, and a further reduction in the minimum creep rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4103-4116
Number of pages14
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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