The Mg–Zn–Zr–Gd alloys belong to a group of biometallic alloys suitable for bone substitution. While biocompatibility arises from the harmlessness of the metals, the biocorrosion behavior and its origins remain elusive. Here, aiming for the tailored biodegradability, we prepared the Mg–2.0Zn–0.5Zr–xGd (wt %) alloys with different Gd percentages (x = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and studied their microstructures and biocorrosion behavior. Results showed that adding a moderate amount of Gd into Mg–2.0Zn–0.5Zr alloys will refine and homogenize α-Mg grains, change the morphology and distribution of (Mg, Zn)3
Gd, and lead to enhancement of mechanical properties and anticorrosive performance. At the optimized content of 3.0%, the fishbone-shaped network, ellipsoidal, and rod-like (Mg, Zn)3
Gd phase turns up, along with the 14H-type long period stacking ordered (14H-LPSO) structures decorated with nanoscale rod-like (Mg, Zn)3
Gd phases. The 14H-LPSO structure only exists when x ≥ 3.0, and its content increases with the Gd content. The Mg–2.0Zn–0.5Zr–3.0Gd alloy possesses a better ultimate tensile strength of 204 ± 3 MPa, yield strength of 155 ± 3 MPa, and elongation of 10.6 ± 0.6%. Corrosion tests verified that the Mg–2.0Zn–0.5Zr–3.0Gd alloy possesses the best corrosion resistance and uniform corrosion mode. The microstructure impacts on the corrosion resistance were also studied.
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