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Title: In situ structural characterization of ageing kinetics in aluminum alloy 2024 across angstrom-to-micrometer length scales

The precipitate structure and precipitation kinetics in an Al-Cu-Mg alloy (AA2024) aged at 190 °C, 208 °C, and 226 °C have been studied using ex situ Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and in situ synchrotron-based, combined ultra-small angle X-ray scattering, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) across a length scale from sub-Angstrom to several micrometers. TEM brings information concerning the nature, morphology, and size of the precipitates while SAXS and WAXS provide qualitative and quantitative information concerning the time-dependent size and volume fraction evolution of the precipitates at different stages of the precipitation sequence. Within the experimental time resolution, precipitation at these ageing temperatures involves dissolution of nanometer-sized small clusters and formation of the planar S phase precipitates. Using a three-parameter scattering model constructed on the basis of TEM results, we established the temperature-dependent kinetics for the cluster-dissolution and S-phase formation processes simultaneously. These two processes are shown to have different kinetic rates, with the cluster-dissolution rate approximately double the S-phase formation rate. We identified a dissolution activation energy at (149.5 ± 14.6) kJ mol-1, which translates to (1.55 ± 0.15) eV/atom, as well as an activation energy for the formation of S precipitates at (129.2more » ± 5.4) kJ mol-1, i.e. (1.33 ± 0.06) eV/atom. Importantly, the SAXS/WAXS results show the absence of an intermediate Guinier-Preston Bagaryatsky 2 (GPB2)/S" phase in the samples under the experimental ageing conditions. These results are further validated by precipitation simulations that are based on Langer-Schwartz theory and a Kampmann-Wagner numerical method.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Acta Materialia; Journal Volume: 111
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science - Office of Basic Energy Sciences - Scientific User Facilities Division; National Science Foundation (NSF); National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Country of Publication:
United States
Al-Cu-Mg alloys; in situ; kinetics; precipitates; small angle x-ray scattering