Investigation of Al-Zn-Zr and Al-Zn-Ni alloys for high electrical conductivity and strength application

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Al-Zn-TM (TM=Transition metals) alloys are developed with an integrated computational material engineering (ICME) strategy. Al-Zn-Ni and Al-Zn-Zr are determined to have promising electrical conductivities via a series of ab initio density functional theory (DFT) simulations assessing combinations of Al-TM and Al-Zn-TM. The computed enthalpies of formation are used to identify the zero-temperature equilibrium precipitate phase in both alloys with increasing levels of Zn content, with a particular focus of finding Zn content levels that result in a precipitate L12 structure. The corresponding microhardness and electrical conductivity measurements of both alloys are evaluated. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) is used to examine the morphology of the Al3-xZnxNi and Al3-xZnxZr precipitates formed in the respective alloys and their structures were confirmed as L12 by selected area electron diffraction (SAED). Through qualitative chemical analysis, it is demonstrated that Ni and Zr are not present in the matrix but are completely used up in forming the respective precipitate phases in both alloys.

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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msea.2018.11.111

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Materials Science and Engineering: A