The role of Si and Ca on new wrought Mg-Zn-Mn based alloy

G. Ben-Hamu, D. Eliezer, K. S. Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


The development of new wrought magnesium alloys for automotive industry has increased in recent years due to their high potential as structural materials for low density and high strength/weight ratio demands. However, the poor mechanical properties of the magnesium alloys have led to search a new kind of magnesium alloys for better strength and ductility. Magnesium alloys show strong susceptibility to localized corrosion in chlorides solutions due to their inhomogeneous microstructure. The existence of intermetallics in the microstructure of magnesium alloys might represent initiation sites for localized corrosion. This is due to the formation of galvanic couples between the intermetallics and the surrounding matrix. The main objective of this research is to investigate the corrosion behavior of new magnesium alloys; Mg-Zn-Mn-Si-Ca (ZSMX) alloys. The ZSM6X1 + YCa alloys were prepared by using hot extrusion method. AC and DC polarization tests were carried out on the extruded rods, which contain different amounts of silicon or calcium. The potential difference in air between different phases and the matrix was examined using scanning Kelvin probe force microscopy (SKPFM). The phases present in the alloys have been identified by optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Four different phases were found, i.e. intermetallics containing Si-Mn, Mg-Si, Mg-Zn and Mg-Si-Ca phase. All phases exhibited higher potential differences relative to magnesium matrix indicating a cathodic behavior. The potential difference revealed significant dependence on the chemical composition of the phases. Based on the results obtained from the scanning Kelvin probe force microscopy, the cathodic phases are effective sites for the initiation of localized corrosion in Mg-Zn-Mn-Si-Ca alloys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: A
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 25 Feb 2007


  • Corrosion behavior
  • Intermetallics
  • Mg-Zn-Mn alloy
  • Scanning Kelvin probe force microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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