Precipitation strengthening in naturally aged Al–Zn–Mg–Cu alloy

Sang Hwa Lee, Jae Gil Jung*, Sung Il Baik*, David N. Seidman, Min Seok Kim, Young Kook Lee, Kwangjun Euh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


We investigated the precipitation behavior and mechanical properties of naturally aged Al–7.6Zn–2.7Mg–2.0Cu–0.1Zr–0.07Ti (wt.%) alloy using various experimental methods including electron backscatter diffraction, microhardness, electrical resistivity, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atom-probe tomography (APT), and tensile tests. GPI zones commenced forming after 0.5 h of natural aging and increased in volume fraction during further aging. GPII zones were observed in alloys that were naturally aged longer than 1500 h at 25 °C. The APT and TEM analyses identified blocky GPI zones and elongated GPII zones on the {111}Al planes in the alloy that were naturally aged for 1500 h. The compressive lattice strains of the GPI and GPII zones were ~2.6 and ~7.8%, respectively, at the centers of the zones. For the GP zones, the Zn/Mg atomic ratio was ~1.2, the mean radius 0.76 nm, the number density 3.22 × 1024 m−3, and volume fraction 0.58%. Yield strength modeling, strain hardening behavior, and fractured morphology analyses indicated that the improved strength from natural aging was due to the coherency plus modulus mismatch strengthening of the GP zones, which had an average misfit strain of ~4%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140719
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: A
StatePublished - Jan 28 2021


  • Aluminum alloys
  • Atom-probe tomography
  • Mechanical properties
  • Misfit strain
  • Precipitation
  • Transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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