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Department of Materials Science and Engineering


The technological relevance of Al-Mg-Si alloys has been rapidly growing over the last decade. Of particular interest to current and future applications is the problematic negative effect of prior natural aging on subsequent artificial age hardening. The influence of natural aging is dependent on both processing and compositional variables and has origins that are far from well-understood. This work examines the hardenability of 6000 series alloys under a wide range of conditions, paying particular attention to the natural aging effect. Experimental variables include alloy composition (Mg + Si, Mg/Si), cooling rate after solutionization, and duration of prior natural aging. Hardenability was evaluated with full hardness and conductivity aging curves for each condition, as well as select Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Results are discussed based on the actions of naturally aged solute clusters during artificial aging. In particular, a complex interaction between vacancy concentration, cluster stability, and precipitation driving force is suggested.

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© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( Publisher’s version of record:

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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