The creep properties of a series of zinc-rich zinc-aluminium alloys
The compressive creep behaviour of six sand cast zinc-rich alloys: No3 and No5, corresponding to BS 1004A and BS 1004B, respectively, alloy No2, ILZRO,.16 and two newer alloys ACuZinc5 and ACuZinc10 was investigated. The total creep contraction of the alloys was found to be well correlated using an empirical equation. On the basis of this equation, a parametrical relationship was derived which allowed the total creep contraction to be related to the applied stress, the temperature and the time of test, so that a quantitative assessment of compressive creep of the alloys could be made under different testing conditions. The primary creep and secondary creep rates were found for the alloys at different temperatures and stresses. Generally, the primary creep contraction was found to increase with copper content, whereas secondary creep rates decreased in the order No3, ACuZinc10, ACuZinc5 and No2. ILZRO.16 was tested only at the highest stress and two higher temperatures. The results showed that ILZRO.16 had higher creep resistance than all the other alloys. Thus, based on the above empirical equation, alloy No2 was found to have a substantially better total creep resistance than alloys No3 and No5, and slightly better than ACuZinc5 and ACuZinc10 for strains up to 1%. Both ACuZinc alloys had higher creep strength than commercial alloys No3 and No5. Alloy No5 had much higher creep resistance than alloy No3 under all conditions. The superior creep resistance of alloy No2 was considered to be due to the presence of small precipitates of -phase in the zinc matrix and a regular eutectic morphology. The stress exponents and activation energies for creep under different testing conditions were found to be consistent with some established creep-controlling mechanisms; i.e. dislocation climb for alloy No3, dislocation climb over second phase particles for alloys No5, No2, ACuZinc10, controlled by lattice diffusion in the zinc-rich phase. The lower creep resistance of alloy No3 was mainly due to the lower creep strength of copper-free primary particles having greater volume than eutectic in the microstructure. Alloys No5, ACuZinc5 and ACuZinc10 showed much better creep resistance than alloy No3, based on the precipitation-hardening due to the presence of small -phase precipitates. The primary dendrites in both ACuZinc alloys however were not of much benefit in improving the creep resistance of the alloys.