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Magnesium is added to aluminum alloys to increase their strength and corrosion resistance. Aluminium-magnesium alloys have a good weldability and high machining properties.
The AZ series are the most commonly used magnesium aluminum alloys. They have moderate strengths, moderate plasticity and appropriate corrosion resistance for structural applications.
They are available as sheet, plate and extrusions.
They are suitable for truck and train bodies, buildings, armored vehicles, ship and boat building, chemical tankers, pressure vessels and cryogenic tanks.
Their properties are similar to those of aluminum, with some AZ and AM series having higher strengths than the AE and ZK series.
The Mg-AZ alloys are used for automotive and aerospace die castings. The main alloying elements are aluminium, zinc and manganese.
Other additives include titanium and titanium plus boron. Beryllium can inhibit oxidation of magnesium in the molten state.
Several other solute elements are also added to alloys as grain refiners, in an effort to improve machinability. Zinc is rarely out of solution and then forms Mg3Zn3Al2; iron, when present in high magnesium-silicon alloys, forms Fe2SiAl8 or FeMn3Si2Al15, if manganese is present, and (FeCr)Al7 or (FeCr)4Si4Al13, if chromium is present.
The b-Mg17Al12 phase is usually dissolved in the solid solutions of the main alloying elements during the solidification of the a-Mg matrix. In addition, the microalloying elements compete with the combination of Mg and the Al element in the a-Mg matrix, thus decreasing the content of the b-Mg17Al12 phases. This competition is essential for the thermal stability of the a-Mg phase, and therefore for the corrosion resistance of the alloy.