Mg–7Gd–5Y–0.5Zr alloy has excellent mechanical properties but poor hot tearing resistance. The latter makes it difficult to cast billets, which limits the size of subsequently processed parts. Therefore, the hot tearing susceptibility of Mg–7Gd–5Y–x
= 0, 3, 5, 7 wt%) alloys was studied. It was found that Zn can significantly reduce hot tearing susceptibility of Mg–7Gd–5Y–0.5Zr alloy, which almost linearly decreased with Zn content. When Zn content was 3 wt%, 5 wt% and 7 wt%, hot tearing susceptibility will be reduced by 27%, 83% and 100%, respectively. It was further revealed that the solid solubility of Gd and Y in α-Mg decreased with the increase of Zn content, and the nucleation temperature decreased accordingly, which resulted in the increase of nucleation rate and the refinement of final grains. On the macro level, it showed that the dendrite coherency temperature decreased, the solidification shrinkage stress of α-Mg slowed down, and the residual liquid channel became shorter and hot tearing susceptibility decreased. It was also found that with the increase of Zn content, the content of Zn, Gd and Y enriched on the grain boundary increased, the content of residual liquid phase between dendrites increased after α-Mg crystallization, and the solidified precipitated second phase also changed from Mg5
RE phase to long-period stacking ordered phase + W-phase (a little), long-period stacking ordered phase + W-phase (much) and finally to W-phase only. The feeding effect of sufficient intergranular residual liquid on the shrinkage of α-Mg dendrite and the bridging effect of the precipitated phase at the grain boundary (especially long-period stacking ordered phase which is coherent with the parent phase) also led to the decrease of hot tearing susceptibility.
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