Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 2182–2192 | Cite as

Competitive Heterogeneous Nucleation Between Zr and MgO Particles in Commercial Purity Magnesium

  • G. S. Peng
  • Y. Wang
  • Z. Fan


Grain refining of commercial purity (CP) Mg by Zr addition with intensive melt shearing prior to solidification has been investigated. Experimental results showed that, when intensive melt shearing is imposed prior to solidification, the grain structure of CP Mg exhibits a complex changing pattern with increasing Zr addition. This complex behavior can be attributed to the change of nucleating particles in terms of their crystal structure, size, and number density with varied Zr additions. Naturally occurring MgO particles are found to be {100} faceted with a cubic morphology and 50 to 300 nm in size. Such MgO particles are usually populated densely in a liquid film (usually referred as oxide film) and can be effectively dispersed by intensive melt shearing. It has been confirmed that the dispersed MgO particles can act as nucleating substrates resulting in a significant grain refinement of CP Mg when no other more potent particles are present in the melt. However, Zr particles in the Mg-Zr alloys are more potent than MgO particles for nucleation of Mg due to their same crystal structure and similar lattice parameters with Mg. With the addition of Zr, Zr and the MgO particles co-exist in the melt. Grain refining efficiency is closely related to the competition for heterogeneous nucleation between Zr and the MgO particles. The final solidified microstructure is mainly determined by the interplay of three factors: nucleation potency (measured by lattice misfit), particle size, and particle number density.



This work is financially supported by the Key University Science Research Project of AnHui Province (KJ2017A054), Priority Funding Scheme for Innovative Projects for Overseas Chinese Students in Anhui Province, EPSRC under Grant Numbers of EP/H026177/1 for the EPSRC Centre – LiME, and EP/I038616/1 for the TARF-LCV programme.


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© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringAnhui University of TechnologyMa’anshanP.R. China
  2. 2.BCAST, Brunel UniversityUxbridgeUK

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