Precipitation Evolution and Modeling of Growth Kinetics of L12-structured Al3Zr Particles in Al-0.22Zr and Al-0.32Zr (wt.%) Alloys Isothermally Aged

The microstructure and microhardness of isothermally aged Al-0.22Zr and Al-0.32Zr alloys were investigated. Peak microhardness occurred after aging at 650K for 100 h for both alloys and decreased slightly after aging at 400 h. Nanometer-scale spherical L12-structured Al3Zr precipitates were observed using Transmission Electron Microscopy, these presented r < 7 nm at the center of dendrite branches. In the Al-0.32Zr alloy, particles increased in radius after aging at 650 K from 100 to 400 h while in the Al-0.22Zr alloy, precipitate radii remained constant in the same range. This is possibly due to solute migration to the periphery of dendritic branches, where larger particles nucleated. After aging at 700 K for 100h, there are growth instabilities at the interface of the particles. A theoretical model, used to predict particle growth by diffusion, presented good agreement with the experimental findings.