Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-12234-112022

Document Typethesis
Author NameBarber, Lee P
Email Address lee.barber at alum.wpi.edu
TitleCharacterization of the Solidification Behavior and Resultant Microstructures of Magnesium-Aluminum Alloys
DepartmentMaterials Science & Engineering
  • Makhlouf M. Makhlouf, Advisor
  • Richard D. Sisson Jr., Department Head
  • Diran Apelian, Committee Member
  • Keywords
  • microstructures
  • magnesium alloys
  • solidification behavior
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2004-12-06
    Availability unrestricted


    Research and development of magnesium casting alloys depends largely on the metallurgist’s understanding and ability to control the microstructure of the as-cast part. Currently few sources of magnesium solidification information and as-cast microstructures exist. Therefore, the goal of this research is to increase the general knowledge base of magnesium solidification behavior and to characterize the resultant microstructures. Equipment has been developed and constructed to study the solidification behavior of magnesium-aluminum casting alloys via non-equilibrium thermal analysis and continuous torque dendrite coherency measurements. These analyses have been performed on six magnesium-aluminum alloys, including industry dominant alloys such as AM60 and AZ91E, and experimental alloys which show commercial potential such as AXJ530. The resultant microstructures have been characterized for general microstructure trends and the various phases present were analyzed using optical and scanning electron microscopy, as well as energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy.

    The measurements were performed using a cooling rate on the order of 1-2°C/s, and results of these analyses show that in general, magnesium-aluminum casting alloys have relatively large solidification ranges, non-dendritic microstructures, and coherency points that are similar to those of aluminum casting alloys. These results should prove useful for research directed towards development of new magnesium alloys that are targeted for specific applications, as well as for optimizing casting procedures for Mg-Al alloys to obtain defect free cast structures.

  • barber.pdf

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