This paper presents a detailed investigation on the effect of small amount of Nb and Zr additions to 2219 Al alloy coupled with a novel three-stage heat treatment process. The main aim of the work is to increase the high temperature strength of 2219 alloy by introducing thermally stable L12 type ordered precipitates in the matrix as well as by reducing the coarsening of metastable strengthening θ″ and θ′ precipitates. To achieve this, small amounts of Nb and Zr are added to 2219 alloy melt and retained in solid solution by suction casting in a water-cooled copper mould having a cooling rate of 102 to 103 K/s. The suction cast alloy is directly aged at 673 K (400 °C) to form L12 type ordered coherent Al3Zr precipitates. Subsequently, the alloy is solution treated at 808 K (535 °C) for 30 minutes to get supersaturation of Cu in the matrix without significantly affecting the Al3Zr precipitates. Finally, the alloy is aged at 473 K (200 °C), which results in the precipitation of θ″ and θ′. Microstructural characterization reveals that θ″ and θ′ are heterogeneously precipitated on pre-existing uniformly distributed Al3Zr precipitates, which leads to a higher number density of these precipitates. This results in a significant increase in strength at room temperature as well as at 473 K (200 °C) as compared to the 2219 alloy. Furthermore, the alloy remains thermally stable after prolonged exposure at 473 K (200 °C), which is attributed to the elastic strain energy minimization by the conjoint Al3Zr/θ′ or Al3Zr/θ″ precipitates, and the high Zr and Nb solute-vacancy binding energy, retarding the growth and coarsening of θ″ and θ′ precipitates.
Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2018
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