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Title: Microstructure and corrosion characteristics of excimer laser melted elektron 21-T6 rare-earth magnesium alloy
Author: Shekhe, Ahmad Mustafa Abussalam b
ISNI:       0000 0004 5360 3905
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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The present study concerns the application of LSM using an excimer laser to enhance the corrosion resistance of rare-earth Elektron 21 magnesium alloy. The alloy has been treated by an excimer laser to produce a highly homogeneous and refined microstructure for improvement of corrosion resistance. The laser surface treatment was applied on two different prepared surfaces of the alloy; i) a ground surface up to 1200 SiC grit; ii) a chemically cleaned surface using CrO3 +AgNO3 boiling solution. The intermetallic phases within the α-matrix that are believed to initiate corrosion have been dissolved by two methods. The first is by the excimer laser, where they were dissolved in the melted layers. The second is by a chemical dissolution prior LSM. Variation of the laser parameters such as changed laser influence (low, medium and high) and increased number of pulses, resulted in formation of thicker melted layers, but promoted the formation of porosity and micro-cracks particularly at overlap regions. The initial stage of this study was aimed at optimising the laser conditions for production of a uniform microstructure, with an increase in the corrosion resistance of the alloy being determined by potentiodynamic polarization measurements in sodium chloride solution. A laser fluence of 6 and 7 J/cm2 with 10, 20, 25, 40 and 50 pulses with a different overlap ratio of 7%, 20% and 50% were subsequently selected as the optimum condition to treat the surface of the alloy. After laser treatment, the top surfaces and the cross-sections of the alloy showed a relatively homogenous melted layer and a significant reduction in the number of large intergranular Mg-Zn-RE phase was achieved resulting in a significant improvement of the corrosion resistance of the alloy. This work also investigated the mechanism of corrosion and the interaction between the intergranular Mg-Zn-RE phase, the Zr-rich regions within the grains and the bulk Mg-rich matrix. The results obtained by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) / energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) and scanning Kelvin prop forced microscopy (SKPFM) potential map measurements as well as transmission electron microscopy (TEM) / energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) have shown the importance of the microstructure in the initiation of corrosion in 3.5 wt% NaCl solution, where the Zr-rich regions played a distinct role in the early stages of corrosion in this alloy. However, the obtained results have demonstrated that such laser melted layers improved the corrosion resistance of the alloy, but further work is still needed to obtain the fully understanding of such behaviour which can better the research results, particularly the selectively chemical dissolution of the second phases prior LSM.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Libyan Government
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Magnesium alloys, Rare Earth, Corrosion, Excimer Laser