Quasicrystal alloys have a wide application prospect because of excellent performances and characteristics; meanwhile, magnesium alloys are known as green engineering materials because of their high specific strength and light weight. Therefore, the study of Mg-Zn-Gd quasicrystal alloys is of great significance for the development of new materials. In this paper, Mg(70-x)
alloys were prepared by a conventional casting method and the morphologies and properties of these alloys were studied. There was a new symmetrical rod phase found in the Mg66
alloy and the symmetrical rod phase was identified as a ternary phase by mapping scanning and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) analysis. The Zn/Gd ratio of the symmetrical rod phase was found to be 4.8 and the TEM images obtained were different from the typical diffraction spots patterns of quasicrystalline, which means it is unlikely to be quasicrystalline. With different melt holding time, the symmetrical rod phase evolved gradually over time from a lamellar eutectic structure; differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), heat treatment, and microhardness tests showed that the melting temperature of the rod phase was 453 °C and that its thermal stability and microhardness are better than quasicrystalline. Hence, the symmetrical rod phase is a new kind of complex metallic alloy phase whose composition and properties are close to those of quasicrystals but is not quasicrystalline.
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