Nanoscale precipitation and mechanical properties of Al-0.06 at.% Sc alloys microalloyed with Yb or Gd

Marsha E. van Dalen*, David C Dunand, David N Seidman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Dilute Al-0.06 at.% Sc alloys with microalloying additions of 50 at. ppm of ytterbium (Yb) or gadolinium (Gd) are studied with 3D local-electrode atom-probe (LEAP) tomography for different aging times at 300°C. Peak-aged alloys exhibit Al3(Sc1-x Ybx) orAl3(Sc1-xGdx) precipitates (L12 structure) with a higher number density (and therefore higher peak hardness) than a binary Al-0.06 at.% Sc alloy. The Al-Sc-Gd alloy exhibits a higher number density of precipitates with a smaller average radius than the Al-Sc-Yb alloy, leading to a higher hardness. In the Al-Sc-Gd alloy, only a small amount of the Sc is replaced by Gd in the Al3(Sc1-xGdx) precipitates, where x = 0.08. By contrast, the hardness incubation time is significantly shorter in the Al-Sc-Yb alloy, due to the formation of Yb-rich Al3(Yb1-xScx) precipitates to which Sc subsequently diffuses, eventually forming Sc-rich Al3(Sc1-xYbx) precipitates. For both alloys, the precipitate radii are found to be almost constant to an aging time of 24 h, although the concentration and distribution of the RE elements in the precipitates continues to evolve temporally. Similar to microhardness at ambient temperature, the creep resistance at 300°C is significantly improved by RE microalloying of the binary Al-0.06 at.% Sc alloy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7814-7823
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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