Special Issue "Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Structural Metals and Alloys"

A special issue of Metals (ISSN 2075-4701).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Andrey Belyakov

Belgorod State Univ, Pobeda 85, Belgorod 308015, Russia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: structural steels and alloys; microstructure; texture; phase content; dislocation substructure; cold to hot worked microstructures; annealing behavior; strengthening mechanisms; mechanical properties

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mechanical properties of polycrystalline structural metals and alloys are significantly affected by their microstructural state, including phase content, grain/subgrain sizes, grain boundary distribution, dispersed particles and solutes, dislocation density, internal stresses, etc. Therefore, the studies on structure–property relationships are of a great practical importance. The development of metallic materials with desired structural state results in beneficial combinations of mechanical properties in accordance with exploitation conditions. Various thermo-mechanical treatments are generally used to produce metallic semi-products with suitable microstructures, which are developed owing to combined operation of diverse mechanisms of microstructure evolution. The effect of processing regimes/conditions and methods on the regularities of structural changes in metals and alloys should be studied in detail to supply materials scientists with a fundamental knowledge providing the progress in creation of novel techniques and optimization of conventional technologies of production of structural materials with enhanced unique properties. The aim of this Special Issue is to present the latest achievements in theoretical and experimental investigations of mechanisms of microstructural changes/evolutions in various metallic materials subjected to different processing methods and their effect on mechanical properties. The studies focused on the simulation and analysis of mechanical behavior of structural metals and alloys during exploitation are also welcome.

Dr. Andrey Belyakov
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Structural steels and alloys
  • Microstructure and texture
  • Deformation and annealing behavior
  • Static/dynamic recovery and recrystallization
  • Grain refinement
  • Grain/subgrain boundaries
  • Dislocations and internal stresses
  • Mechanical properties
  • Strengthening mechanisms

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Precipitation Stages and Reaction Kinetics of AlMgSi Alloys during the Artificial Aging Process Monitored by In-Situ Electrical Resistivity Measurement Method
Metals 2018, 8(1), 39; doi:10.3390/met8010039
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 1 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 11 January 2018
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Abstract
The precipitation process and reaction kinetics during artificial aging, precipitate microstructure, and mechanical properties after aging of AlMgSi alloys were investigated employing in-situ electrical resistivity measurement, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) observation, and tensile test methods. Three aging stages in sequence, namely formation of
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The precipitation process and reaction kinetics during artificial aging, precipitate microstructure, and mechanical properties after aging of AlMgSi alloys were investigated employing in-situ electrical resistivity measurement, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) observation, and tensile test methods. Three aging stages in sequence, namely formation of GP zones, transition from GP zones to β″ phase, transition from β″ to β′ phase, and coarsening of both phases, were clearly distinguished by the variation of the resistivity. It was discussed together with the mechanical properties and precipitate morphology evolution. Fast formation of GP zones and β″ phase leads to an obvious decrease of the resistivity and increase of the mechanical strength. The formation of β″ phase in the second stage, which contributes to the peak aging strength, has much higher reaction kinetics than reactions in the other two stages. All of these stages finished faster with higher reaction kinetics under higher temperatures, due to higher atom diffusion capacity. The results proved that the in-situ electrical resistivity method, as proposed in the current study, is a simple, effective, and convenient technique for real-time monitoring of the precipitation process of AlMgSi alloys. Its further application for industrial production and scientific research is also evaluated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Post Weld Heat Treatment on the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of a Submerged-Arc-Welded 304 Stainless Steel
Metals 2018, 8(1), 26; doi:10.3390/met8010026
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
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Abstract
The present study is to investigate the effect of post heat treatment on the microstructures and mechanical properties of a submerged-arc-welded 304 stainless steel. The base material consisted of austenite and long strips of delta-ferrite surrounded by Cr-carbide, and the welds consisted of
[...] Read more.
The present study is to investigate the effect of post heat treatment on the microstructures and mechanical properties of a submerged-arc-welded 304 stainless steel. The base material consisted of austenite and long strips of delta-ferrite surrounded by Cr-carbide, and the welds consisted of delta ferrite and austenite matrix. For the heat treatment at 850 °C or lower, Cr-carbides were precipitated in the weld metal resulting in the reduction of elongation. The strength, however, was slightly reduced despite the presence of Cr-carbides and this could possibly be explained by the relaxation of internal stress and the weakening of particle hardening. In the heat treatment at 1050 °C, the dissolution of Cr-carbide and disappearance of delta ferrite resulted in the lower yield strength and higher elongation partially assisted from deformation-induced martensitic transformation. Consequently, superior property in terms of fracture toughness was achieved by the heat treatment at 1050 °C, suggesting that the mechanical properties of the as-weld metal can be enhanced by controlling the post weld heat treatment. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Effect of Tungsten on Creep Behavior of 9%Cr–3%Co Martensitic Steels
Metals 2017, 7(12), 573; doi:10.3390/met7120573
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 11 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
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Abstract
The effect of increasing tungsten content from 2 to 3 wt % on the creep rupture strength of a 3 wt % Co-modified P92-type steel was studied. Creep tests were carried out at a temperature of 650 °C under applied stresses ranging from
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The effect of increasing tungsten content from 2 to 3 wt % on the creep rupture strength of a 3 wt % Co-modified P92-type steel was studied. Creep tests were carried out at a temperature of 650 °C under applied stresses ranging from 100 to 220 MPa with a step of 20 MPa. It was found that an increase in W content from 2 to 3 wt % resulted in a +15% and +14% increase in the creep rupture strength in the short-term region (up to 103 h) and long-term one (up to 104 h), respectively. On the other hand, in the long-term creep region, the effect of W on creep strength diminished with increasing rupture time, up to complete disappearance at 105 h, because of depletion of excess W from the solid solution in the form of precipitation of the Laves phase particles. An increase in W content led to the increased amount of Laves phase and rapid coarsening of these particles under long-term creep. The contribution of W to the enhancement of creep resistance has short-term character. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of a High-Mn TWIP Steel Subjected to Cold Rolling and Annealing
Metals 2017, 7(12), 571; doi:10.3390/met7120571
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
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Abstract
The structure–property relationship was studied in an Fe-18Mn-0.6C-1.5Al steel subjected to cold rolling to various total reductions from 20% to 80% and subsequent annealing for 30 min at temperatures of 673 to 973 K. The cold rolling resulted in significant strengthening of the
[...] Read more.
The structure–property relationship was studied in an Fe-18Mn-0.6C-1.5Al steel subjected to cold rolling to various total reductions from 20% to 80% and subsequent annealing for 30 min at temperatures of 673 to 973 K. The cold rolling resulted in significant strengthening of the steel. The hardness increased from 1900 to almost 6000 MPa after rolling reduction of 80%. Recovery of cold worked microstructure developed during annealing at temperatures of 673 and 773 K, resulting in slight softening, which did not exceed 0.2. On the other hand, static recrystallization readily developed in the cold rolled samples with total reductions above 20% during annealing at 873 and 973 K, leading to fractional softening of about 0.8. The recrystallized grain size depended on annealing temperature and rolling reduction; namely, it decreased with a decrease in the temperature and an increase in the rolling reduction. The mean recrystallized grain size from approximately 1 to 8 μm could be developed depending on the rolling/annealing conditions. The recovered and fine grained recrystallized steel samples were characterized by improved strength properties. The yield strength of the recovered, recrystallized, and partially recrystallized steel samples could be expressed by a unique relationship taking into account the fractional contributions from dislocation and grain size strengthening into overall strength. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Eutectic Structure on the Creep Properties of Sn-3.0Ag-0.5Cu and Sn-8.0Sb-3.0Ag Solders
Metals 2017, 7(12), 540; doi:10.3390/met7120540
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 26 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 3 December 2017
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Abstract
Solder joints are the main weak points of power modules used in harsh environments. For the power module of electric vehicles, the maximum operating temperature of a chip can reach 175 °C under driving conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to study the high-temperature
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Solder joints are the main weak points of power modules used in harsh environments. For the power module of electric vehicles, the maximum operating temperature of a chip can reach 175 °C under driving conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to study the high-temperature reliability of solder joints. This study investigated the creep properties of Sn-3.0Ag-0.5Cu (SAC305) and Sn-8.0Sb-3.0Ag (SSA8030) solder joints. The creep test was conducted at 175 and 190 °C with the application of 2.45 MPa. The SAC305 solder had superior creep properties to those of SSA8030 solder at 175 °C and at largely the same homologous temperature ( T H ~0.91 for SAC305 and T H ~0.92 for SSA8030). Both solders had primary β-Sn and a eutectic mixture of β-Sn and Ag3Sn. Compared to SSA8030, the SAC305 solder contained ~10% more eutectic structure and contained Ag3Sn that was 3 times smaller and more round in shape. Furthermore, the SSA8030 solder precipitated SnSb in an elongated fiber shape (1–50 μm in size) after the creep test. Coarse and elongated Ag3Sn and SnSb of the SSA8030 solder negatively affected crack propagation in the dislocation creep region and decreased the creep resistance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Strain Rate and Measuring Temperature on the Elastocaloric Cooling in a Columnar-Grained Cu71Al17.5Mn11.5 Shape Memory Alloy
Metals 2017, 7(12), 527; doi:10.3390/met7120527
Received: 22 October 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
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Abstract
Solid-state refrigeration technology based on elastocaloric effects (eCEs) is attracting more and more attention from scientists and engineers. The response speed of the elastocaloric materials, which relates to the sensitivity to the strain rate and measuring temperature, is a significant parameter to evaluate
[...] Read more.
Solid-state refrigeration technology based on elastocaloric effects (eCEs) is attracting more and more attention from scientists and engineers. The response speed of the elastocaloric materials, which relates to the sensitivity to the strain rate and measuring temperature, is a significant parameter to evaluate the development of the elastocaloric material in device applications. Because the Cu-Al-Mn shape memory alloy (SMA) possesses a good eCE and a wide temperature window, it has been reported to be the most promising elastocaloric cooling material. In the present paper, the temperature changes (ΔT) induced by reversible martensitic transformation in a columnar-grained Cu71Al17.5Mn11.5 SMA fabricated by directional solidification were directly measured over the strain rate range of 0.005–0.19 s−1 and the measuring temperature range of 291–420 K. The maximum adiabatic ΔT of 16.5 K and a lower strain-rate sensitivity compared to TiNi-based SMAs were observed. With increasing strain rate, the ΔT value and the corresponding coefficient of performance (COP) of the alloy first increased, then achieved saturation when the strain rate reached 0.05 s−1. When the measuring temperature rose, the ΔT value increased linearly while the COP decreased linearly. The results of our work provide theoretical reference for the design of elastocaloric cooling devices made of this alloy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of High-Pressure Torsion on Structure and Microhardness of Ti/TiB Metal–Matrix Composite
Metals 2017, 7(11), 507; doi:10.3390/met7110507
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 16 November 2017
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Abstract
Effect of high-pressure torsion (HPT) at 400 °C on microstructure and microhardness of a Ti/TiB metal–matrix composite was studied. The starting material was produced by spark plasma sintering of a mixture of a pure Ti and TiB2 (10 wt %) powders at
[...] Read more.
Effect of high-pressure torsion (HPT) at 400 °C on microstructure and microhardness of a Ti/TiB metal–matrix composite was studied. The starting material was produced by spark plasma sintering of a mixture of a pure Ti and TiB2 (10 wt %) powders at 1000 °C. The microstructure evolution during HPT was associated with an increase in dislocation density and substructure development that resulted in a gradual microstructure refinement of the Ti matrix and shortening/redistribution of TiB whiskers. After five revolutions, a nanostructure with (sub) grain size of ~30 nm was produced in Ti matrix. The microhardness increased with strain attaining the value ~520 HV after five revolutions. The contribution of different hardening mechanisms into the hardness of the Ti/TiB metal–matrix composite was quantitatively analyzed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Si and Zr on the Microstructure and Properties of Al-Fe-Si-Zr Alloys
Metals 2017, 7(11), 495; doi:10.3390/met7110495
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 7 November 2017 / Accepted: 8 November 2017 / Published: 11 November 2017
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Abstract
The effects of Si and Zr on the microstructure, microhardness and electrical conductivity of Al-Fe-Si-Zr alloys were studied. An increase in the Zr content over 0.3 wt. % leads to the formation of primary Al3Zr inclusions and also decreases mechanical properties.
[...] Read more.
The effects of Si and Zr on the microstructure, microhardness and electrical conductivity of Al-Fe-Si-Zr alloys were studied. An increase in the Zr content over 0.3 wt. % leads to the formation of primary Al3Zr inclusions and also decreases mechanical properties. Therefore, the Zr content should not be more than 0.3 wt. %, although the smaller content is insufficient for the strengthening by the secondary Al3Zr precipitates. The present results indicate that high content of Si significantly affects the hardness and electrical conductivity of the investigated alloys. However, the absence of Si led to the formation of harmful needle-shaped Al3Fe particles in the microstructure of the investigated alloys after annealing. Therefore, the optimum amount of Si was 0.25–0.50 wt. % due to the formation of the Al8Fe2Si phase with the preferable platelet morphology. The maximum microhardness and strengthening effects in Al-1% Fe-0.25% Si-0.3% Zr were observed after annealing at 400–450 °C due to the formation of nanosized coherent Al3Zr (L12) dispersoids. The effect of the increasing of the electrical conductivity can be explained by the decomposition of the solid solution. Thus, Al-1% Fe-0.25% Si-0.3% Zr alloy annealed at 450 °C has been studied in detail as the most attractive with respect to the special focus on transmission line applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Formation of Strong {100} Texture by Dynamic Strain-Induced Boundary Migration in Hot Compressed Ti-5Al-5Mo-5V-1Cr-1Fe Alloy
Metals 2017, 7(10), 412; doi:10.3390/met7100412
Received: 6 September 2017 / Revised: 23 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 3 October 2017
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Abstract
The microstructure and texture evolution of Ti-5Al-5Mo-5V-1Cr-Fe alloy during hot compression were investigated by the electron backscatter diffraction technique. The results reveal that two main texture components containing <100> and <111> fiber textures form after the hot compression. The fraction of each component
[...] Read more.
The microstructure and texture evolution of Ti-5Al-5Mo-5V-1Cr-Fe alloy during hot compression were investigated by the electron backscatter diffraction technique. The results reveal that two main texture components containing <100> and <111> fiber textures form after the hot compression. The fraction of each component is mainly controlled by deformation and strain rate. Dynamic strain-induced boundary migration (D-SIBM) is proved to be the reason that <100>-oriented grains grow towards <111>-oriented grains. The <100>-oriented grains coarsen with the increasing <100> texture intensity. Dynamic recrystallization (DRX) occurs under a low strain rate and large deformation. The DRX grains were detected by the method of grain orientation spread. The DRX grains reserve a <100> fiber texture similar to the deformation texture; however, DRX is not the main reason causing the formation of a strong <100> texture, due to its low volume fraction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Al2O3 Nanoparticles as Reinforcement on the Tensile Behavior of Al-12Si Composites
Metals 2017, 7(9), 359; doi:10.3390/met7090359
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 10 September 2017
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Abstract
Al2O3 nanoparticle-reinforced Al-12Si matrix composites were successfully fabricated by hot pressing and subsequent hot extrusion. The influence of weight fraction of Al2O3 particles on the microstructure, mechanical properties, and the corresponding strengthening mechanisms were investigated in detail.
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Al2O3 nanoparticle-reinforced Al-12Si matrix composites were successfully fabricated by hot pressing and subsequent hot extrusion. The influence of weight fraction of Al2O3 particles on the microstructure, mechanical properties, and the corresponding strengthening mechanisms were investigated in detail. The Al2O3 particles are uniformly distributed in the matrix, when 2 and 5 wt. % of Al2O3 particles were added to the Al-12Si matrix. Significant agglomeration can be found in composites with 10 wt. % addition of Al2O3 nanoparticles. The maximum hardness, the yield strength, and tensile strength were obtained for the composite with 5 wt. % Al2O3 addition, which showed an increase of about ~11%, 23%, and 26%, respectively, compared with the Al-12Si matrix. Meanwhile, the elongation increased to about ~30%. The contribution of different mechanisms including Orowan strengthening, thermal mismatch strengthening, and load transfer strengthening were analyzed. It was shown that the thermal mismatch strengthening has a more significant contribution to strengthening these composites than the Orowan and load transfer strengthening mechanisms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Emergence and Progression of Abnormal Grain Growth in Minimally Strained Nickel-200
Metals 2017, 7(9), 334; doi:10.3390/met7090334
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Grain boundary engineering (GBE) is a thermomechanical processing technique used to control the distribution, arrangement, and identity of grain boundary networks, thereby improving their mechanical properties. In both GBE and non-GBE metals, the phenomena of abnormal grain growth (AGG) and its contributing factors
[...] Read more.
Grain boundary engineering (GBE) is a thermomechanical processing technique used to control the distribution, arrangement, and identity of grain boundary networks, thereby improving their mechanical properties. In both GBE and non-GBE metals, the phenomena of abnormal grain growth (AGG) and its contributing factors is still a subject of much interest and research. In a previous study, GBE was performed on minimally strained (ε < 10%), commercially pure Nickel-200 via cyclic annealing, wherein unique onset temperature and induced strain pairings were identified for the emergence of AGG. In this study, crystallographic segmentation of grain orientations from said experiments are leveraged in tandem with image processing to quantify growth rates for abnormal grains within the minimally strained regime. Advances in growth rates are shown to vary directly with initial strain content but inversely with initiating AGG onset temperature. A numeric estimator for advancement rates associated with AGG is also derived and presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study on Microstructure and Properties of Bimodal Structured Ultrafine-Grained Ferrite Steel
Metals 2017, 7(8), 316; doi:10.3390/met7080316
Received: 24 June 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
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Abstract
The objective of the study research was to obtain bimodal structured ultrafine-grained ferrite steel with outstanding mechanical properties and excellent corrosion resistance. The bimodal microstructure was fabricated by the cold rolling and annealing process of a dual-phase steel. The influences of the annealing
[...] Read more.
The objective of the study research was to obtain bimodal structured ultrafine-grained ferrite steel with outstanding mechanical properties and excellent corrosion resistance. The bimodal microstructure was fabricated by the cold rolling and annealing process of a dual-phase steel. The influences of the annealing process on microstructure evolution and the mechanical properties of the cold-rolled dual-phase steel were investigated. The effect of bimodal microstructure on corrosion resistance was also studied. The results showed that the bimodal characteristic of ferrite steel was most apparent in cold-rolled samples annealed at 650 °C for 40 min. More importantly, due to the coordinated action of fine-grained strengthening, back-stress strengthening, and precipitation strengthening, the yield strength (517 MPa) of the bimodal microstructure improved significantly, while the total elongation remained at a high level of 26%. The results of corrosion experiments showed that the corrosion resistance of bimodal ferrite steel was better than that of dual-phase steel with the same composition. This was mainly because the Volta potential difference of bimodal ferrite steel was smaller than that of dual-phase steel, which was conducive to forming a protective rust layer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Microstructures and Tensile Properties of As-Extruded Mg–4Sm–xZn–0.5Zr (x = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 wt %) Alloys
Metals 2017, 7(7), 281; doi:10.3390/met7070281
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 17 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
The microstructures and tensile properties of as-cast and as-extruded Mg–4Sm–xZn–0.5Zr (x = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 wt %) alloys were systematically investigated by optical microscope, X-ray diffractometer (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Numerous nanoscale
[...] Read more.
The microstructures and tensile properties of as-cast and as-extruded Mg–4Sm–xZn–0.5Zr (x = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 wt %) alloys were systematically investigated by optical microscope, X-ray diffractometer (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Numerous nanoscale dynamic precipitates could be observed in the as-extruded alloys containing high content of Zn, and the nanoscale particles were termed as (Mg,Zn)3Sm phase. Some basal disc-like precipitates were observed in as-extruded Mg–4Sm–4Zn–0.5Zr alloy, which were proposed to have a hexagonal structure with a = 0.556 nm. The dynamic precipitates effectively pinned the motions of DRXed (dynamic recrystallized) grain boundaries leading to an obvious reduction of DRXed grain size, and the tensile yield strength of as-extruded alloy was improved. The as-extruded Mg–4Sm–4Zn–0.5Zr alloy exhibits the best comprehensive mechanical properties at room temperature among all the alloys, and the yield strength, ultimate tensile strength and elongation are about 246 MPa, 273 MPa and 21% respectively. Full article
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