Improved corrosion behavior of AZ31 alloy through ECAP processing

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Qassim University

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Research Article

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This study aims to establish the effects of equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) processing on the corrosion behavior and hardness values of the AZ31 Mg alloy. The AZ31 billets were processed through ECAP successfully at 250 °C and their microstructural evolution was studied using optical and field emission scanning electron microscopy. The corrosion resistance of the AZ31 alloy was studied before and after processing through ECAP. The homogeneity of the hardness distribution was studied using both sections cut parallel and perpendicular to the extrusion direction. ECAP processing resulted in highly deformed central regions with elon-gated grains aligned parallel to the extrusion direction, whereas the peripheral regions showed an ultra-fine-grain recrystallized structure. After processing, small ultra-fine secondary particles were found to be homogeneously dispersed alongside the grain boundaries of the α-Mg matrix. Regarding the corrosion properties, measurements showed that ECAP processing through 1-P and 2-Bc resulted in decreasing their corrosion rate to 67.7% and 78.3%, respectively, of their as-annealed counterpart’s. The corrosion resistance of the ECAPed Mg alloy increased with the number of processing passes. This was due to the refinement of the grain size of the α-Mg matrix and secondary phases till ultra-fine size, caused by the accumulation of strain during pro-cessing. On the other hand, ECAP processing through 2-Bc resulted in increasing the Vickers hardness values by 132% and 71.8% at the peripheral and central areas, respectively, compared to the as-annealed counterpart.

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