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ArticleName Influence of zirconium on mechanical properties of annealed sheets of aluminum alloy AA3104
ArticleAuthor Belov N. A., Alabin A. N., Biktagirov R. A., Matveeva I. A., Tsydenov A. G.

Chair of Technology of Foundry Processes, National University of Science and Technology “MISiS”, Moscow, Russia:

N. A. Belov, Professor, Director of Engineering Center “Innovation foundry technologies and materials”, e-mail:
A. N. Alabin, Head of Department of Engineering Center “Innovation foundry technologies and materials”
R. A. Biktagirov, Candidate for a Master's Degree


Subsidiary of “RUSAL” JSC, IP LTD, Moscow, Russia:

I. A. Matveeva, Head of a Project


“Plant of aluminium alloys” JSC, Moscow Oblast, Russia:

A. G. Tsydenov, Chief Executive Officer


There was researched the influence of 0.3–0.4% of zirconium additive on durability of cold rolled sheets of aluminum can alloys (AA3104 grade), annealed at the temperatures of up to 450 оC, inclusively. The sheets with 1 mm thickness, obtained by cold rolling from flat ingots with 15 mm thickness, were the objects of this research. The structure was studied by methods of light and electronic microscopy (scanning and transmission). Mechanical properties of sheets were estimated, according to the results of hardness and tension tests. All alloys, obtained from the can scrap, had identical structure in as-cast condition: Fe-containing phase streaks (basically, Al15(Fe, Mn)3Si2), situated on the boundaries of dendrite cells. The whole amount of zirconium was contained in aluminum solid solution, because the primary crystals of Al3Zr phase were not found. Even during the foil obtaining, presence of zirconium in aluminium solid solution had no influence on the processability during the cold rolling. Zirconium has inconsiderable influence on hardness in cold-worked condition, because the solid solution hardening of this additive is insignificant. However, zirconium leads to essential increase of resistance to softening after annealing, starting from the temperature of 350 оC. This effect can be explained by formation of the Al3Zr (Ll2) phase nanoparticles, which are efficient anti-recrystallizers. The movement of dislocations is mostly hindered by Al3Zr nanoparticles, despite their smaller volume fraction (in comparison with Al6Mn), which is connected with smaller distance between particles. Addition of 0,4% of Zr in AA3104 alloy made it possible to raise the yield strength after annealing at 400 oC by 3 times (from 70 MPa to 210 MPa). During the comparison of properties of 6ххх grade and AA3104 + Zr grade alloys, the increased heat resistance of alloys appeared at lower temperatures. In particular, AD33 (AA6061) alloy is strongly softened at the temperature of 300 oC, and AD31 (AA6063) alloy is softened at the temperature of 200 oC. It is shown that addition of zirconium in 3ххх grade alloys is prospective, because it makes possible to increase the durability of this group of alloys, saving their basic advantages (in particular, high technological efficiency and corrosion resistance).

keywords aluminum alloys of AA3104 grade, ingots, cold rolled sheets, annealing, durability, Al3Zr nanoparticles, Zr additive, cold rolling, work hardening

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